|Horses in Clover|
|Blue Heron with Open Beak|
|Bird Definition of Insanity|
|Morning Pond Activities|
|Blue Skies or Knapweed?|
|Tender Bee in Clover|
|He's Watching...Are We?|
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?"
My eyes fell off the birds of the air today.
The owner of the horses pulled up in her truck, followed by another. She was showing Snapper to a couple looking for "an athletic horse." But they are not here to swap words with me or hear about the happenings of a pond. I'm an awkward bystander in my own pasture.
I had just settled into my chair under the apple tree after watering garden plants, roses and tree swallow mud-nest foundations. Crazy catbird woke me up at 5 a.m. to tell me that the sun was shining enough for him to attack my bedroom window. Slinking outside, blurry eyed, I caught Blue Heron with another great blue heron. The photo documentation turned out blurrier than my eyes. After dog-breakfast, Grendel settles into watching catbird strike a different window as if living out the definition of insanity--hit the window, hit the window, hit the window and expect different results.
So when the trucks pull in, I look away from the pond. Suddenly, I become aware of my gardening grubbiness, yet feel like I just got caught slacking off under a tree. The horse-owner is a trim young woman who wears jeans, boots and enough make-up to look the part of rodeo queen. I wear a summer farmer's tan and probably look like I live under this tree; the rodeo clown carrying a camera and cup of coffee, barefoot.
The man says something to me about rain and I acknowledge that a few drops fell earlier. He nods, looks at the horses. The woman asks what I'm taking pictures of and I say, birds, and they look at me as if I said I photo-document pixies that live in the willows. The man changes the subject by pointing out that I have knapweed. "Bad stuff," he says, "I have to spray mine constantly."
I speak western and know I'm being chided, judged for choking my pasture in noxious weeds. I'm being offered the sensible solution, but to me it's as insane as catbird. Why spray weeds with chemicals if they keep coming back. Then it occurs to me, that I've stopped the chemical process here. The pond is superbly pristine. How do I explain that? What rancher cares about a pond? Birds? Bees? I'm wasting pasture, sitting under a tree watching birds.
They leave and like an alcoholic I grab a drink--a deep shot of worry.
Someone turned us in to the owners last month, saying we abandoned the place and left junk. Was it the horse-owners? Who was peeking in our windows? Who thinks my spare furnishings are junk? Before they leave I see the man jawing at the horse owner, pointing at knapweed. Are we in trouble? Will she tell the owners of the ranch? Oh, my God, please don't let them spray...the birds, the bees, the pond...
Worry is wicked drink. Suddenly I don't see God in blue skies, I see the devil in weeds. I see gophers, I see a highway that might one day get expanded. My mind rushes in circles. Where is the shovel? Will chemicals be okay? After all, how many years prior were they applied?
Worry just leaves me defeated. I can't solve the deaths of thousands of bees; I can't kick Monsanto or Bank of America in the knees; I don't know where I will live after this place; I don't know if I can revise my novel. My humor and heart have flat-lined.
All we ever have is today. Worry does not add a single hour to our lives. Today, I missed out on the birds of the air for worry's sake. But I know the promises I stand upon, feeble as my feet are, the rock is solid. God's mercies are new every morning and then I shall look up, look up, look up. It may sound insane, but I know I will get the same results I do every time I seek God--for I will find him in the chirp of an osprey or the waggle of a blue heron feather.