Monday, October 20, 2008

BIRD LESSONS

When I talked to my friend, Tina today, she asked me what the highlight of my trip to Maui was...and I really could not think of an answer to give her. I had a wonderful time, but nothing stood out as a highlight.
Today, she came over to help me pack up Alex's room. I had shared an experience with Alex that happened while I was gone, and he reminded me to tell Tina about it.
So, I will share it with you, as well.
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We had a wonderful balcony view from our hotel room on the 5th floor. The top of several palm trees were right next to the balcony. One afternoon, about an hour before dark, I was sitting there and reading a book. 2 birds came and perched on the tree closest to me, and started chirping for all they were worth. I mean, they were loud! Then as I watched, several more birds began to fly into the courtyard. They came swooping over the top of the buildings, and headed right to the top of 2 trees in the middle of the courtyard. Amazed, I watched as bird after bird after bird came over the roof tops and headed straight for those 2 trees! (The ones in the middle with the white flowers-plumeria trees.) They came by 2's mostly...but sometimes groups of 8 or 10 would arrive at one time. They just kept coming. And then I began to notice that everyone of them was chirping as loudly as the 2 that got this whole show started. I would guess that by the time they finished arriving, there must have been at least 300 birds in those 2 trees...and all telling their news to one another. It was so loud, that people were going inside to get away from the noise! What a strange thing...and then...it got quiet...and I forgot about it. The next night, I heard those 2 birds from inside my room and went out to see what would happen...sure enough...it happened again, just like before! And, it happened every night I was there.
I called Don out to watch with me and he said, "Silly girl, you can tell you are from the city! Haven't you ever heard of birds roosting before?" Well, no. I don't think I had.
Now, I know some of you, my friends, live on farms or in the country and this may be a common occurrence for you...but, I was indeed amazed and awed by this spectacle in the bird kingdom.
So I did a little research into "roosting" or "why birds of a feather flock together"? Here's what I learned: birds roost for several reasons. One is for warmth...by crowding together they are able to take advantage of each other's body heat to protect themselves from a winter's night or a cool ocean breeze. Another reason is that birds 'share information' during their roosts. While I personally believe that their chirping is just a sharing of the day's activities...scientists say the birds are able to size up each other's body condition and judge whether it would be beneficial to follow them to their foraging grounds the next morning. And, thirdly, a large group of roosting birds form a type of safety net from certain predators.
OK, so that is way more than you ever wanted to know about roosting birds...me, too. But, the fact remains, this tiny part of God's creation has a reason and purpose for the things they do. It is not just happenstance. All this bird behavior was put into their minuscule bird brains by God himself. He taught the first birds what to do...and they have followed this pattern ever since. Did you know that sleeping birds can operate one hemisphere of the brain at a time? That way, they can open the eye on the 'awake' side and watch for the enemy...while still sleeping on the other! Amazing!
If God took such pains with birds...how much more has He done for us? The more I look at nature and see the mighty work of our Creator in the smallest of His creatures...the more in awe I am of His mighty power.
So, maybe this little 'bird lesson' was much more than that...because it reminded me of a great truth. God cares for those little birds...His word tells us that he knows when even the tiniest one falls. How much more does He care about me? If He plans for them to be safe and warm...He does the same for me. If he plans for them to have companionship...He plans it more for me. If He wants them to have a period of rest...my rest is important to Him as well. My well-being matters to Him...the Great Creator of the Universe! Now, none of this was 'news' to me...I learned about God's care at a very early age. And, I have taught it to children myself for years. I think God just wanted to send me a love letter and remind me that I was on His mind. And, he sent it via the birds...all 300 of them!
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When I finished my story, Tina said, "Well, this, then, sounds like the highlight of your trip. Because if it made this big of an impression on you...you will never forget it." And, she's right. I don't think I ever will.

8 comments:

Sharon said...

Amen, Amen!!! Great post, you know I have been watching the birds in my backyard doing the same, but your story of the birds, I saw the same exact thing happen when I was in the hospital, I went outside a few times they have a place called the rose garden, and these little birds were coming in like that too, I was sooooo fasinated, I would watch them till it got dark and everything then when silent. Still and peaceful!
What a great God to keep them protected from harm, like he does for us as well.
Have a great week
Sharon

justabeachkat said...

Well, I learned something today too! Isn't it amazing how we can learn and appreciate more of God's abundant love and blessings when we take the time to notice the little things?!

I'm so glad your trip was fun and relaxing. Welcome home.

Hugs!
Kat

windycorner said...

It sounds like your trip gave you time to "Be still and know that I am God." And what a beautiful place! Your view was so beautiful and I can just imagine how much better it must have been to be there and have the fragrance of the flowers too.
Holley

Dianne said...

I was thinking of that same truth as I read this post. Great job! :-)

nancygrayce said...

There's a street in our town where they do that! They come by the hundreds, swoop into the trees lining the street, then if you hadn't seen them land there, you wouldn't even notice them. It is amazing!

andi said...

What great lessons you learned from the birds! Don't you love when the Creator speaks to us and we are still enough to hear His whisper....powerful post T-jator. Glad you are home. Benj. is feeling better. Thanks for their card. They LOVED it!

Greg C said...

What a great story. I love birds and love to hear them singing. I have two kinds of plumeria growing on my porch but I have to take them inside in the winter. One freeze and they will die.

Musicaljean said...

When I was growing up and we would see birds doing that, we would say that they're having church. So that's what I've always told kids. Now Destiny continues the tradition, and whenever she sees a bunch of birds together she also says, "Look, the birds are having church."

Unfortunately, in the Lancaster area there is a lot of trouble with thousands of crows roosting at once in certain areas, and it's a real community issue.

I love the picture of you taking it easy on that balcony.