Garden Lessons

Katherine - Los Angeles, California
Entered on May 13, 2008
Age Group: 50 - 65
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A rustling in the garden awoke me early this morning. Peering between the blossoms and thick spring growth fresh with dew, a jet black movement puzzled me; how had our puppy managed to get out? And then alarm as I saw a mocking bird zoom down in warning. Many years ago I had to rescue our terrified bunny that had encroached too closely and endured the brazen assault of the mocking birds. Ready to leap out of bed, I realized it was not our puppy, but an old powerful crow who had taken cover as the mocking bird swooped again with the irritated low grinding voice. How is it possible for a bird to have a song so sweet for mating and so menacing for protection? That is the essence of the mocking bird in spring, contrasts that remind one of hidden potentials. It is the same for us, how we can sweetly coo to our babies and watch our tempers flair at our two year olds?

The crows that gather in my neighborhood are not often welcome, their cawing raucous behavior and size tend to not endear them to us. I like the mocking bird, have scolded them clapping hands to chase them away, despite the fact that they are not any threat other then to the peace of my small garden. The crow is the silent one this morning, stonily holding his ground despite the dive bombing of these parent birds. It is puzzling that he has taken the low ground and even more so that he should be intimidated by birds a third his size. Suddenly with an expanse of strong wings he flies to a near by branch where the strikes continue until at last he gives in and retreats out of the garden. The mocking birds fly to their nest and quiet settles again upon the garden.

These birds are relentless and fearless in their protection of their young, standing up to whatever threatens, despite the odds. Without size or power, it is their single-minded intent that allows them to boldly confront and triumph. They give me hope for the small ones of the world, for those who sing songs of beauty and know peace and yet when pushed very hard join together to rise up and protect what is right.