My husband taught me the joy of feeding the birds. Initially it was his interest, and I stood back wondering if it was worth the effort. It wasn’t long before I was convinced the time and money we spent caring for our feathered friends was returned many times over by birds who bring us year-round entertainment and a peaceful connection to nature.
Whether you live in the city or the country, maintain an elaborate system of bird feeders or just sprinkle bread crumbs on your window sill, feeding the birds can feed your soul in some unexpected ways.
1. Kindness – When we do something nice, no matter how simple, it increases the goodness in the world. A single act of kindness can have a long-reaching ripple effect, sending good vibes throughout the planet. Watching the birds gleefully flock to their freshly filled feeders and bird bath, makes us want to keep spreading good cheer.
2. Connection – Over the years, I’ve watched the birds from kitchen windows and backyard porches with family and friends of all ages. Watching the birds creates a sweet and common bond over the wonder of our shared world.
3. Learning – When we watch the birds, we naturally want to know more about them. Is that a bluebird or an Indigo bunting? Do orioles prefer oranges or meal worms? Did you know a woodpecker’s tongue is so long it wraps around the inside of its head? There is so much to learn!
4. Beauty – In our flashy bigger-is-better world, we can miss the subtle, natural beauty of things. When we take time to notice a bird’s intricate coloring, delicate shape, and sweet song, we begin to appreciate the genuine beauty in the world we sometimes take for granted.
5. Simplicity – A few seeds and a little fresh water is all a bird needs. It makes us stop and think about what we really need to live a healthy, happy life. Watching the birds mindfully eat, chirp, nest, and fly can encourage us to strip away the pretenses and live a simple, authentic life.
6. Charity – Remember the bird lady Mary Poppins sang about? “Come feed the little birds. Show them you care and you’ll be glad if you do. The young ones are hungry; their nests are so bare. All it takes is tuppence from you. Feed the birds. Tuppence a bag.” We all benefit when we share our blessings, not just count them. §
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