02 May 2013

The Hummingbird Feeder

Here's a photo from our patio.  We just
filled the feeder yesterday! There's one of our
friends taking a little drink.
Spring is definitely here.  We're blessed to have a beautiful lemon tree in our yard, that not only  gives us lemons year round but also draws hummingbirds to its flowers. We really enjoy watching the birds hover in mid-air drinking from the lemon blossoms, and because of this, my daughter Ani gave us a hummingbird feeder last year.  It wasn't your regular run-of-the-mill feeder, but a beautiful, funky looking feeder.  The bottle is clear glass, but stamped in a pretty vintage pattern.  The base is an antiqued metal, with dimensional metal flowers attached to it to attract the birds to the red colored nectar that also came with it.  It's really beautiful.  Suspending it from its antique metal chain we put it near the lemon tree and waited for the birds.  One or two birds flew by and didn't even stop.  They did look at it though.  They perched on the lemon tree, thought about it, and turned and flew off.  Hmm.   Okay, maybe they didn't like the location.   We moved it.  Still no visitors. At least not to the feeder.

Maybe it's the nectar?  We looked up recipes, cooked up a new batch, dropped in a little red coloring sure that this was going to do it.  We hung it up, and waited.  After a week it still sat there.  Full.  Beautiful but not attractive to the birds.  Oh, I almost forgot about the bumble bee that kept buzzing near it though.

Months went by and then just last week while I was picking out tomato plants at the nursery, I passed a hummingbird feeder display.  They weren't beautiful, just plain.  Clear glass, red top yellow cheesy plastic flowers...and on sale.  My mom has been staying with us, and I thought it would be a nice diversion for her to watch the birds, IF I could get it to work this time.  I bought the feeder and headed home.  Looked up a new recipe:  4 parts water, 1 part sugar.  I didn't have any coloring this time, so I left the solution clear.  I filled the feeder, hung it up and forgot about it.  It was my mom who discovered the feeder and the birds -- two days later.  I came home from work and asked how her day went...that's when she told me she had been watching the birds all day long.  I looked out the window at the feeder and it was almost empty.  While I stood there, there were many visits sometimes 2-3 birds at a time!  Since that day, we have been filling the feeder every 2 days. The birds are visiting regularly.  They're beautiful and they bring us so much joy.

I've been thinking about this for a few days now, and there's a lesson to be learned here.  We are just like the feeders.   We are hungry to attract joy: friends, happiness, love.  We can dress ourselves up and change our appearance, we can color our sweetness even.  Sure, we'll get noticed...but putting up the walls will only deter not attract.  OR - we may attract someone, but maybe not who we were hoping for..

When we're truly transparent - honest, truthful and really ourselves, that is when we're most attractive.  It doesn't matter how plain and ordinary.  Letting our true selves shine through will allow people to discover our true goodness and then keep coming back to drink of our friendship.

And in order for all this to happen, we have to be approachable.  I finally figured out why the birds weren't attracted to the first feeder.  It was because there was nothing to hold on to.  The feeder we now have has a perch for the birds to land on.  It allows the birds to sit for a while to take a drink.  It's welcoming.  Real friendships require time.  Time to stop, rest and allow others to drink of our friendship.  We too need to be welcoming.  We need to reach out to one another, extend ourselves and allow others to hold on to us too.  In this way, we can share the sweetness of  our lives with others and receive life's blessings in return.

You can hear an audio version of this blog post on this week's podcast of "The Next Step with Fr. Vazken" on epostle.net

This is anush wishing you a pomegranate day...filled with hope, sweet nectar, and RIPe with possibilities.

No comments: