Tuesday, November 13, 2007

In Every Season There is a Purpose

One of the things Joe and I longed for when we moved to Colorado in 2004, were Seasons. We went about noticing every change in temperature and every change in our yard. In San Jose, we had one tree, a crabapple, that entertained us over the year, but in Colorado, there were marvelous aspens which daily altered the view with differing shades of yellow and green. There was snow. There were thunderstorms. There was drama.

When we moved to Oakhurst, I was warned about rattlesnakes but was assured by my realtor that in all his years in the foothills of the Central Valley, he had never seen one. He was not alone. Lots of people live here and die here and never see one. Would I be so lucky? NO! Less than a month after moving in, a little viper showed his malevolent face just outside my door. This is not the kind of drama I need! I cried to God. We didn’t catch him. My war against rattlers had begun and we all know that war involves sacrifice.

In addition to watching out for rattlesnakes we also keep an eye out for velvet ants (they’re in the wasp family). Little pesky black ants (in my bathroom). Mosquitos. Tarantulas. Yellow jackets. Meat bees and once in a while, I find a scorpion in my garage. You’d think we lived in Bug Hell, but one thing Joe and I have noticed, is that these critters come and go. They, too, have their Seasons. Come see us in October. That’s when you can find tarantulas. If you visit in August, don’t mind the ant spray smell. In June, we’ve got june bugs. May, that’s when we do our bat watching and smother ourselves with mosquito repellent. But, if you come see me in November, grab a cup of coffee and watch my birds!

In Colorado I began marking up my bird book. I noted the date when the first nuthatches and juncos arrived, the time when the hummers would come and when they would go. I was learning to identify various finches. I met my first gilded flicker outside my window. To foster my hobby, I invested in all sorts of feeders, hanging hooks and the finest birdseed. I nurtured my interest by chattering with seasoned bird watchers at the bird store. Birder Bliss!

But here in California, I am at war and I intend to win! How? By eliminating rodents and other rattler prey. Rodents, of course, would be attracted to the droppings from bird feeders, thus, I relinquished my new hobby in interest of my family’s safety. Not the noblest gesture, but a necessary sacrifice. Nothing but a few hummingbird feeders hanging around my place now. But the birds have showed up anyway!

Yes, it is BIRD SEASON! I’ve been enjoying the trails of California quail, the blue jays and the variety of hummers and woodpeckers that frequent my yard. I’ve made a point of being content. I’ve been very grateful for the birds I have. But today and yesterday and perhaps the day before, the juncos and nuthatches and not less than 6 robins were flitting around my bird bath. We’ve seen rock wren, a blue bird and a gilded flicker, too. Could it be that in my contentment, God wishes to pour out His abundance? Could it be that in my willingness to let something go, God wishes to extend His compassion? Could it be that in relinquishing my plans, God wishes to administer better ones? I don’t think so. I know so.

An old Hymn says, His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me. Matthew 6:26 reads, Look at the birds of the air; do they not sow or reap or store away in barns and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? I don’t think so. I know so. For in every Season, and in every place, I am a precious child of God.