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  • Brenda Sevcik

When More than Your Bird Feeder is Empty...



I walk into my kitchen carrying generous bags of groceries. My blinds are open, revealing a beautiful, sunny day. It’s early autumn. I see the empty bird feeder out my picture window and cringe. If I don’t go and refill it, the migrating birds will feel neglected and go elsewhere. I don’t have the time to retrieve the seed, go outside, and replenish it. There are more pressing obligations.

I put away my groceries, throwing dinner, the rotisserie chicken, in the fridge. If I’m to get all my work done, I must keep my blinders on.

I take a mental inventory of what I need to do before a presentation Monday. Between now and then every hour is scheduled with a long and tedious list. Each event is worthy, but spiraled and overlapping, it gets top heavy. Will I fall?

I walk into my basement office to work. After an hour I realize I feel like I’m in a crypt. The blinds are down—my space dark and lifeless. My tummy is upset; I go upstairs searching for a cracker.

Seeing the beautiful day outside, I sigh. Through the window, I see the birds teasing the empty feeder. Doing the irresponsible thing, I find the birdseed and fill up the container for my winged friends. The sun is inviting on my skin—its warmth feels as if it’s trying to fill a drained battery inside of me.

I recline on a deck chair, close my eyes, and breathe deep. I hear the chattering whistles between the birds, the rustling leaves, a distant leaf blower. The autumn rays begin to thaw my stress.

Continuing deep inhalations, I mentally sort all I must do, placing them onto virtual cards. My deck is high. In a quest for meaningful work, I said yes to everything. Committees, special groups, and boards. I am too busy. There is no time for any extra’s--like fun, or joy.

I separate my obligations into two piles. Does this fill me? Does it not? My piles are uneven. There’s still too much for me to do.

Now it’s Sophie’s Choice. What brings me the MOST joy? My piles become more even.

It is a week later. I’ve discerned out of committees. Delegated communications. Learned the word, “No.”As I refill my bird feeder, I notice the differences in the seeds.

Some black and oblong, some white and round.

Feeling as if my tank is filling, I wonder….what magical, beautiful creatures will visit me, what will I be able to receive?

Waiting not only for birds, I anticipate real joy, too.


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Atlanta, GA, USA

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