A bird in the hand, (unless it’s a starling…)

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It appears a male starling is making advances to the female, who in turn is playing hard to get.  At first, I hear sweet tunes, which quickly have turned into unpleasant assertions.  Then arrives male #2 and the competitors have at it, chasing each other through the branches while the female ignores them, rearranging her coiffure and powdering her beak.

One of the males is run off (how can you tell them apart?), and the young couple is left to negotiate their terms of endearment.  Not that I care; good grief, it’s not like we need more starlings in the world. Continue reading “A bird in the hand, (unless it’s a starling…)”

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Worriers, unite! (and then go somewhere else.)

wood 2Did you know that our upper atmosphere is totally littered with cosmic debris, some of which could break through and wreck havoc at anytime, unannounced by our sophisticated technology?  (Remember Russia a few years ago?) 

Or how about the “definitely-not-Kansas-Toto” freak tornado in China that terrified a schoolyard of children and teachers?

A little closer to home is the New Madrid fault line, where I live here in the Midwest of the USA.  I read this little tidbit this morning: “…earthquakes in this region shake and damage an area approximately 20 times larger than earthquakes in California…”, and that we are about thirty years overdue for a major jiggle. (Bob tried to soothe me when we moved here saying that we would be living on the side of our town a little further away from the crack…)

Making it more personal, I was sitting out on the patio this morning right before sunrise, enjoying the relative cool, the quiet of crickets and waking birds, the serenity of my big black dog and my pot of very black tea.  Deep breath.  Nice.  

Then the sun came up, I turned off the outdoor lights (Bob likes it when I do that) and continued my morning on the porch. After a bit I noticed a big spider web built on the side of my table with (guess what) a big spider in the middle RIGHT NEXT TO MY ELBOW–all morning!  

I relocated quickly.

Closer inspection confirmed the spider was deceased (evidently not his own web?) and after clearing the area of the offending wildlife, my skin stopped creeping as I sat back down.

My thought is that potential dangers (or at best, inconveniences) are all around me, and I’m not even aware of most of them.  Yes, I wear my seatbelt.  Yes, I eat properly, (and sometimes I even exercise.)  Yes, I put on my bike helmet before riding to Walmart for groceries. (Yes, I wear spandex…TMI??) 

But even with the best of all things, other things still happen. Unexpected things. Tragic things. Things that have nothing to do with terrorist attacks or misplaced passions and loyalties belonging only to humankind.  (And we all know, especially these days, that many humans are not kind.)

When Bob’s dad died of a heart attack at a young age, my husband said, 

“God is still on His throne.”

If anyone had reason to worry, it was the Old Testament prophet, Habakkuk.  He came to this conclusion:

I trembled inside when I heard this;
    my lips quivered with fear.
My legs gave way beneath me,
    and I shook in terror.
I will wait quietly for the coming day
    when disaster will strike the people who invade us.
Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
    and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
    and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
    and the cattle barns are empty,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
    I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
The Sovereign Lord is my strength!
    He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
    able to tread upon the heights.

Meteorological interruptions or man-made intrusions, God is still in control.

Time for that Walmart run.  (Helmet on, of course.)

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Habakkuk 3:16-19  Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.