Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Gift of Robins

The days are getting longer and the morning's birdsong louder. I am returning to myself after months of clouded overwork. Today I saw the most beautiful sight I've seen for quite some time. Dozens of robins flew in and out of the hollies just outside the window, eating berries, perching on bare branches and drinking from the birdbath. I took photos, then put aside the camera and watched for a long time.

I've been praying for the grace of inner silence, to stop the endless videotape of thoughts about what happened yesterday and speculations about what's going to happen tomorrow. The robins, shimmering in the hollies as they fluttered their wings to balance while reaching for berries and flew from branch to branch, brought that silence.

As I continued to contemplate the robins, a bird with a black mask and yellow-tipped tail appeared out of nowhere. A cedar waxwing! I haven't seen one since childhood in Michigan, I think. The red markings on the wings match the holly berries. 

At work at the church this fall and early winter, I became lost in administration and words. Paper words, electronic words. For months, I failed even to fill the feeder outside my office window. I also failed to feed myself, with time in nature and the garden, time in stillness and observation of the life around me. But the days are getting longer,  and I am returning to the feast. 


PlantPostings said...

Exquisite and magical--both your images and your words, Sheila! I love cedar waxwings. I've only seen them here in southern Wisconsin in early to mid-spring. So I always associate them with new life and beauty. Great captures of the robins, too! I hope your work situation improves. Thanks, again, for this beautiful post!

HolleyGarden said...

I haven't seen a robin this year yet. And your cedar waxwing really is special! I've only seen them in my garden once. Unfortunately, they must not have liked what they saw, because they never returned! I think it helps all us gardeners to be outside in nature, and the short days are hard to bear.

Donna@Gardens Eye View said...

My dear Sheila I have missed you. I do hope the robins brought you some solace. I know when critters visit my garden I am immediately more peaceful...stunning captures. I have been trying to come to grips with the negative energy where I work and hope to find some peace there for as long as I am there.

Jason said...

Absolutely wonderful, both the robins and waxwings! Your pictures are indeed images to lift the spirit.

Indie said...

How beautiful! I've never seen a Cedar Waxwing, though I'm now seeing the flocks of robins. I hope you find more moments of peace and joy.

Sheila said...

Beth, so glad you liked the post. I enjoyed photographing and writing it. I'm glad to be back blogging!

HolleyGarden, it is so important that we get outside in the garden, even when it's winter. One of these days I'm going to ask your advice about roses. I inherited several old overgrown rose bushes that I have no idea what to do with.

Donna, I have missed you and my other garden blogging friends. The robins are back today and continuing to be a source of peace. I hear you on negative energy. It's such a challenge to remain peaceful when confronted with it.

Jason, I appreciate your comment! Look forward to checking out our blog.

Indie, I saw six cedar waxwings on and near the hollies this morning. Keep an eye out! Where do you live, BTW? I'm in North Raleigh.

Karin / Southern Meadows said...

Sheila, very happy that you are back to blogging! I am so impressed with your cedar waxwing shots! They are so photogenic and I have never seen one in our garden, albeit I had a birder at my house this winter who said that she heard them. I am keeping my eyes wide open!