lessons learned: even squirrels are welcome at the table

Living in the Southeast, I look forward to the excitement and anticipation the first snow day brings each season.  While people concern themselves with bread and milk, you can find me in the birdseed aisle stocking up on food for our backyard community.

I come home, fill up the feeders then, with tea in hand, sit by the back window on my little red stool.  I am always surprised by who comes to the table so to speak. Blue birds, goldfinch, and cardinals come out of hiding to enjoy homemade suet, thistle, and sunflower seed.  I pause in awe for minutes at a time throughout the day to marvel as they swoop from feeder to feeder with the chickadees, titmice, nuthatch and wrens.

feb15.nuthatch at green feeder

And then, inevitably, out come the squirrels.

I believe they must gather in a secret location to plan their strategic attack on every feeder I own because suddenly, they arrive in force then station themselves on their chosen feeders.

feb15.squirrel climbing up tree by feeder

Who invited them to the table?

I know they are hungry and part of God’s creation, but they scare away my fine feathered-friends!  They are ill-mannered hoarders of food who believe they are entitled to a free meal.

Oh. wait.

Aren’t they are part of our Creator’s world, too?

They are no more or no less important than the colorful blue birds or cute chickadees.  They are also my backyard neighbors.  Why wouldn’t I welcome them at the table?

And so, as I prepare to take the next round of food outside, I grab an extra pitcher and fill it to the brim.  Some may call that “radical hospitality” or “extending grace.”  I simply consider it my call as a person of faith.

God welcomes us all to the table.  Shouldn’t we do the same?

one thing at a time

As I prepare to go about my work today,

may my intention to live in your present moment

be the pattern for this day and my life.

With your help, may I forever

do only one thing at a time–

always in communion with you, my Beloved,

with all my heart and mind and soul.

~modern prayer by Edward Hays, USA