A Lesson From The Shakers

A grasshopper walked down the lily leaf that hung into the birdbath like it was walking down the bank of a lake. She took a drink then made her way back into the security of the garden.  At the same time, a black wasp landed on the edge of the water, drank, and flew away.

Birds never come to the blue birdbath in the garden, but the cats, dogs, and insects go to it every day to drink.

I was sitting on the back porch like a cat watching the world go by.

A red-winged blackbird swooped in front of me, and landed in a swamp birch, making the tall vertical branch sway with its weight.  Below him the hens scratched up the old hay I put down and pecked at the grass seed beneath it.   Then the red-winged blackbird joined the hens, making a feast of the seed.

I could get up and chase them away or I could take a lesson from the Shakers.

During the Depression when the Shaker Community in New Lebanon NY found that people were stealing the vegetables they were growing, they responded by growing more vegetables the next year so there would be some for everyone.

Maybe it’s because didn’t feel like getting up.  Or maybe it’s because I know that if I chase the hens and birds away, they’ll only be back the minute I’m gone.

I like to think that it’s because it seems to me like the most peaceful and generous way to deal with the situation that I sat in my chair on the porch and made a mental reminder to myself to throw down more grass seed when I got up.

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