Sunday, January 17, 2021

Winter Guests: Nature Journaling Week #17

 I ended my last essay at the end of 2020 for a call for unity. Then the US Capitol was invaded on January 6. I also went through a mental crisis personally and am on the path to recovery. I think this week's journaling ties in with all that. We all need others. We all need community. 

It’s been over 2 weeks since I journaled last, and I spent time looking at my book this morning. Wow! It really felt good. Things I wrote stood out to me like messages from the seasons to current me and they made me smile. Good memories returned to my present mind and that filled with me good feelings. And I was reminded of things I still want to do, as well. 

Anticipation is an amazingly healing feeling. 

It’s cold and snowy out, and we can also anticipate spring in a few months. Until then, we have a different world out there inhabited by creatures adapted to winter. Dark-eyed Juncos are one such species that live here only during the cold months and I decided to focus on them today.

These birds hang out at feeders and landscaping shrubs so are easy to observe. And, they give off a happy vibe, at least to me. They hop and flit about. They scour the ground for seed and scatter into our arborvitae as the snow lightly falls.

As I’m sitting here, a Cardinal couple joins in the feeder activity. Cardinals are bigger than Juncos, but both have the chisel beaks best suited for cracking seeds. Now, a downy woodpecker is at my feeder, chiseling nuts and mealworms off the block. Its work will help the Juncos score some more food as crumbs fall to the ground.

I read that Juncos hang out with other sparrow species. I saw that as well today as a number of birds hopped on the ground and used the birdbath. Watching this morning, I saw a busy community.

There’s a dance going on out there. I’m reminded again that Life is a dance. Trillions of lives across millions of species all interact at some level- together. Life’s always changing and that should encourage us instead of frightening us.

There can be anticipation. There can be hope. If we’re open to that truth of community. 

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