Seed Tossing & A Double Lesson
The seeds on the old stump were at the epicenter of this chickadee’s life for a few moments. Searching the pile for at least one good tidbit, he wasn’t distracted in the least by the medley of treats I’d cast out for him and the other birds and critters.
Instead, he bent toward the few in front of him as if unimpressed by the multitude of options.
Then he found the one seed he wanted. He held the one in his beak as if it were the most delectable.
I watched as he moved to a better position – at least, I think that’s what he was doing – and gave me one of my favorite action shots I’ve ever taken!
After he flew away and other birds took his place on the stump, I thought about him and that seed. A few of my ponderings might be worthy of consideration, while others might not be. But here they are . . .
Someone somewhere planted a sunflower seed that grew and was harvested. Somehow, that little seed made it to this old stump so a little chickadee in our yard would choose it, crack it open, and thoroughly enjoy it.
Maybe many of the seeds in the pile I’d poured out came from the same sunflower. Or not. I don’t understand the science of seeds – do they have DNA, and could someone with far greater knowledge than me trace them to the same blossom? And why would it matter other than it would be super interesting?
But the cool thing is that God knows where that seed came from and how it got here. From the beginning of time. From seed to blossom to new seeds, to birdfeeders, to chickadee tummies, He knows. What do I believe He knows? Every single, solitary thing from infinity past to infinity future.
In the case of sunflower seeds, He gave them to people and birds to eat. Since they are one of my favorite snacks, I’m glad, although I confess, I’m not as focused on the seeds I eat as this little chickadee was, and I prefer mine unshelled and lightly salted.
Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; Genesis 1:29
Today, as I remembered those moments with this intensely focused chickadee, another lesson nudged my heart.
My attention is easily disturbed by the flitting of other birds, the call in the distance of the pileated woodpecker, or the black spots called floaters in my eyes, to name three. It’s a long list.
These little birds are usually as easily distracted as me, so the dapper little fellow I watched the other day stood out from his crowd.
That led me to contemplate my continued lack of work on the new novel. When a spot on my glasses bugged me, I took them off to clean them and, squinting, said, “The story still feels blurry.”
When I wrote those words, the chickadee came to mind again.
To corral my wayward focus, I put my glasses back on and looked for quotes that might help. I’ve often found that another writer’s words can sometimes say what a wandering writer needs to read.
This quote from Mark Twain did that for me this morning: “You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”
In a while, I will focus my imagination on one tiny seed of the story, then toss it onto the page with great enthusiasm and look for the next seed.
I wonder if a small pile of perfectly shelled sunflower seeds would help. Just kidding – sort of.
Until Next Time,