Thankful Notes (#305)
Early in the morning, I was sitting outside on the deck and noticed a big bald eagle soaring over the lake and swooping down to fish. Except it wasn’t fishing for fish. There were two little ducklings unattended, swimming across the lake together—and the eagle was going after them. Each time the eagle swooped down, the ducklings would dive under the water for a few seconds until the eagle flew up again.
Soon, there were four crows going after the eagle.
They were cawing and crashing into the eagle’s wings (I could hear the sound of collision). The more the eagle had to contend with the crows, the easier it was for the little ducklings to continue their path across the lake. I felt myself rooting for the ducklings and for the crows.
The eagle outmaneuvered the crows a few times and nearly grabbed a duckling, but the ducklings dove under water just in time to escape its talons. Finally, they swam underneath our new dock and the eagle flew back toward the trees—with the crows loudly escorting him away (I can only imagine the things they were saying).
I sat there and thought about what I saw. It occurred to me that the crows were not in competition with the eagle for a duckling breakfast. They don’t do that. Rather, they were doing a good deed. They loudly spoke up for the at-risk and vulnerable. They made a ruckus and put themselves on the line.
It was beautiful, really, what they did.
The scene I witnessed reordered how I think about certain birds. It made me appreciate the crows, who assembled and worked together to protect the innocent. And it made me think eagles are kinda gross, cannibalistic.
For a moment, I felt like entertaining philosophical thoughts concerning America and our myths and symbols (like the eagle) and power dynamics and assembling to protest for the most vulnerable among us… but I decided to stick a pin in it and just leave it for another day. Maybe.
Leaving the philosophical for another time, I went to the kitchen and made coffee and then took Camper out to the bathroom and fed her. Then I made breakfast for the humans. Bacon! Eggs! Sourdough! Amen.
Camper and I left for the office together. At work, I wrote and printed the devotional booklets that go in the Kid’s Activity Packs we hand out during the Drive-Thru Food Bank. One of the devotions had Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s take on “Jesus blesses the little children.” I especially loved this section:
But Jesus heard them. “Do not chase away the children!” he called. “Let them come to me. God loves children, and when they smile, he smiles; when they laugh, he laughs; when they cry, he cries.”
Jesus went to the children, and they laughed and played together for a while. He took them in his arms and hugged them. He placed his hands on their heads and blessed them. Then he told the disciples, “Everyone who wants to see God’s dream come true must see with the eyes of a child.
Desmond Tutu has Jesus laughing and playing with the children. How can you not love that image? It’s wonderful. And he takes them in his arms and hugs them.
Yes, yes, yes! to this picture of Jesus. 100%. Amen.
My last job at work was assembling little baggies of dog treats to be handed out at the Drive-Thru Food bank anytime a dog shows up, which is pretty often – and this makes me happy. Also, Camper approved of the treats.