Monday, September 19, 2005

The narcoleptic wren

The bird feeder that I keep suctioned onto the outside of my office window has finally made the headlines - The Critter Chatter News. I hear the birds talk about it every morning when they fly in and out on their way to work and such.

It took a good 4 or 5 months for the birds to first, notice the birdfeeder and food, and then another few weeks to realize it wasn't a mirage and to learn how not to dive bomb into the glass for a good meal.

I used to keep a flower pot underneath the bird feeder with various ever-changing plants in it, but the only thing that grew consistently and successfully were the sunflower seeds that sprouted after they had been kicked,spit or pushed out of the feeder. The pot became a catch all for seed crumbs.

Last week, my friend Amelia, who is extremely gentle natured, noticed that there was a bird laying in the feeder. She sat across from me and said, "Is he asleep?" I checked my rear-view mirror that I keep propped on top of my computer monitor so that I can see the daily activity and saw what she was talking about, but I thought the bird was not just taking a benign birdnap, I thought he had maybe had a heartattack from eating too many sunflower seeds.

I figured his cholesterol was running high and he just bit the dust. We approached gently, and then my panic made me push open the window and scoot my fingers his way. The sleeping beauty awoke, and without the kiss, remained a bird. A flustered little thing, he flew off in a panic.

Today, during staff meeting, I ventured to the hall way window one floor up from my office and I looked down to see if any little feathered friends were having brunch in the neighborhood cafe and sure enough, there was my little sleeper, napping once again. This time, he was sitting up and nodding off, as if he had been sitting in an easy chair and had fallen asleep watching the game. The only game going on right then was a few rowdy blackbirds swooping about. By the time staff meeting was over, he was off , reenergized from the rest stop I figured.

Later this afternoon, he dive bombed into the pot of overflow seeds and stayed there a good hour with his face in the seed-soil, and his tail feathers poking out and over the rim of the pot. Was it a suicide attempt? Intentional seed collision? Do birds get depressed? or were his brakes out of order, was he trying to save face by looking like he meant to hit the overflow flower pot instead of the well stocked feeder just over head? Was he drunk? Did he pass out from over drinking the polluted run off from the night's rain? Had he been sipping the organic fertilizer the landscape crew leaves in the bushes?

His breathing was regular albeit rapid, but what would you expect? He had to fly high to reach that cozy spot. Manuvering into the brick alley outside my office is no easy fly by, let me tell you. Amelia opened the window and stroked his feathers. He didn't seem to mind.

Another friend came by as well ,and was facinated by the lounging bird. He spritzed my covey of plants and considered the bird's odd positioning. "Is he praying" he asked? Being outside the office of a church secretary, I found this question completely understandable. " Is it Yoga?" We looked at him more closely. " Could be downward facing dog, I guess"
"Wait, no, his butt isn't up high enough and his hams aren't stretched" " hams? Do birds have those?" We kept postulating and presuming and guessing.

I ventured into the Pastor's office and asked him to please come to my office. He obliged me, probably thinking I was going to get on my high horse about some this or that, He came reluctantly, but he came. I like that in a Pastor. Tip toe trust. He entered the office/birdlounge and looked at our sleeping friend. Immediately, he connected with the gentleness the bird's aura presented. "He looks so comfy" He was touched, I could tell. It was a nice group-hug moment.

Things have been so hard rock 'n rolling at work that I thanked the bird for giving us that reason to pause. The Pastor quietly left and went back to his Pastoring. That's the number one job of Pastors, you know. Pastoring. It comes in lots of shapes and flavors, but I've come to recognize it just the same. Important work, performed to perfection with honest humilty and tender awareness. Qualities not many have, and qualities that so many wish they had. My boss and my home church Pastors are woven through and through with those qualities.

Later in the day, when the record was playing at 78 rpms again, I thought back to the sleeping wren.The moment made me feel pretty special.I mean, the Pastors provide an environment of love and comfort for people. All kinds of folks. and in this church, my work church, the church chick's office offers the same for other types of folk. Feathered friends, bugs, and narcoleptic birds. Well, it's a start anyway. Maybe one day, one day, my office will be a safe haven for creatures of other kinds, who knows?


Leslee said...

I'm so excited to see you blog today. I was starting to worry that you had done something rash and I would never hear from you again. Take good care of that naroleptic bird. He needs you!
-Your friend

HeyJules said...

That was a wonderful post! I, too, am glad to see you writing again. Keep it up!

Cindy said...

I just found you today through Leslee's blog. I, too, am a church secretary and am looking forward to reading what I'm missed on your blog.

the reverend mommy said...

I must say that I've come back to this post over an over again. I love what you say about pastoring. It's something I strive for myself and it's difficult to do.

If you are having problems putting the RevGal code in your side bar, let me know, OK?

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