By Jodie Lynn
While the kids are calmly working out the dilemma of who cleaned the basement last (yeah - right!), I'm going to stay by the window and hide behind the curtain to catch the culprit or neighborhood trickster who keeps knocking on the front door and running away. Just as I was thinking I might be losing my mind and started to walk off, "Rat-tat-tat," there it goes again. What could it be?
Like me, my dog thinks someone is knocking on the door. I open the door only to find there is no one there. I stand wondering if the wind is hitting or shaking my new wreath. I close the door and make a mental note that I did not have time for this and began to concentrate on the tasks at hand. A few minutes pass and, "Rat-tat-tat," there it goes again.
What's going on? I open the door look around but no one is there. I study the wreath, turn it over, swing it back and forth, and nothing...there's no sound. I look in the bushes, behind the wrap around porch, and zilch -- notta. I don't see or hear anyone or anything!
As I quietly begin to close the door, all of a sudden I saw her! She ran up to the door and quickly left. Hey, wait a minute, I remember her. I went through this very same episode almost at the same time last year. Although there were no words spoken between us, the glares we had given each other clearly showed how we felt. How dare she come back again this year. Didn't she learn anything from the previous experience? I can't believe she is up to her same old tricks!
Nope, it wasn't a practical joker from the neighborhood. It was Mother Bird. I gathered tiny twigs of off the trees, left remnants of cloth on the branches, yarn and even soft thin strips of colorful ribbon, all carefully placed in a secluded crescent shaped opening at the midpoint of one tree.
Nevertheless, she had made up her mind; she wanted my new spring wreath again this year.
I had just finished making it for Easter, the same as I do each year, and carefully hung it on the door when she began to make trouble.
Just like the previous year, we went through daily confrontations. I would leave in the mornings and come home at midday only to find twigs, dirt, and bits of old newspaper, bug eaten candy wrappers, feathers, twigs, etc., at the base of the wreath leaving a mess at the bottom of the door. I would clear it all off and it would be back the very next day. It astonished me how quickly everything was put back into place the way she wanted it.
Finally, after taking down the nest six or so times, she did not come around. YAY! I had won! My lovely wreath would not have goop from dilapidated dirty bits of trash poking out from it and no bird poo splattered all over the freshly painted door.
After a few days of feeling pretty good about defending my home, I actually started feeling bad about the whole situation. I started wondering where she had gone or if her time had finally run out. I was quite surprised at just how remorse I felt.
The kids ran up the stairs claiming both would not pick up the other's mess and began the common practice of "let's see who can out-stare the other" when we all heard the, "Rat-tat-tat," and ran to the door. "There's no one here," said the youngest.
With a little jump of joy in my heart, I told them it was only Robin. "Who is Robin?" - they chimed together. She's a very persistent and headstrong loving mother bird who insists upon building a nest for her babies in my wreath.
"Why?" - they asked. "I guess because she's searched around and feels like this is a safe place."
I clued them in on last year's experience and before I could finish, they shook their head in agreement, as they remembered the incident. Then, I explained what had already taken place this time.
"Mom, what will you do now?" Taking a deep breath I said, I guess we'll just have to use the side or back door for a few weeks...once the baby birds are hatched."
They gave me a hug and ran off to make "SPECIAL SIGNS" to go on the front door that would instruct their friends not to ring the doorbell and to go around to one of the other doors.
You know, Mother Bird reminds me of someone else long ago who was constantly thrown off course, mocked, and mimicked. Each time something was established, built, or maybe resembled a small step forward; it backfired or tumbled down.
Many made fun of the work and tried to destroy it at every opportunity. The convictions held strong within this person's heart offered the strength needed to push on with persistence for the insurmountable work that lay ahead.
One day it all collapsed and the vocation was blamed for trying to disrupt the daily grind that everyone was used to following-the same rules and penalties that had been in place as far back as remembered.
The consequence was death.
Today, as signs of spring and Easter grow closer, we are made conscience of the road he carefully paved for us many years ago. His hard work, time, effort, blood, sweat and tears ended with his own life; yet, not all was lost.
The incredible difficult journey paved the way in providing us with an abundance of choices and opportunities to continue with the work he began.
"Rat-tat-tat," Happy Easter and may the enduring meaning of Christ's work strengthen your life and goals as you strive to understand, endure, learn, share and motivate others to love and appreciate the spirit of it all.
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