Each morning, very early, I walk to the 3 areas where the Bullock Orioles dine on their meals of oranges, and a mixture of meal-worms and grape jelly. Always, I hear the staccato like chatter as they wait for their breakfast in the trees in our gardens…it is not chirping, the sound is unique to these birds.
And always, I smile because I feel privileged- honored, really- that these splendid creatures come here and trust they will find the nutrition they need to nurture themselves and the babies they fly thousands of miles to have here in the high Sierra’s.
In June, now, they search through the jelly mixture for the meal-worms- I have learned this is the protein they require for the babies. I assume the kids are getting hungrier and are demanding more protein to fuel their growing bodies.
Occasionally, their feet drag detritus from their nest to leave on the sticky lip of the jelly jar. Today, there was a long strip of what looked like very thin plastic tape, about 6 inches of it, reminding me of the tapes we used to play long ago but thinner and with white checks, stuck to the top of one of the containers.
While adding a generous supply of meal-worms to each of the 3 containers, I thought about why this gives me such pleasure, aside from the obvious joy of seeing these outrageously colored birds amidst all of the other mostly brown, black colored birds which merge with the muted natural landscape of the desert.
I think of Eden now and then.
Of a place where all of creation – all of us creatures were in a sense, one. We humans had dominion but the word does not imply any perversion of power or hierarchy, rather it implies a deep reverence for all creatures, an understanding that supersedes words because perfect communication can exist only without words.
A place where the meaning of that peculiar staccato chatter of these splendid creatures was clear to us because we understood the gratitude, the love. We understood because we shared the gratitude in each moment, in the splendor and the goodness of each tree, plant and creature…the shared peace of each moment and the love for each one of us.