This noble creature I've named Tillie* has been showing up in Robert Wagner Park at the southern tip of Manhattan for summer vacation at least 3 of the past 5 years.
She, usually, arrives in late-July and leaves for parts unknown right after Labor Day.
What's gratifying is that Tillie has been accepted by everyone and has not been hassled by man or beast.
Our relationship revolves around the nuts I feed her, which, having lost any fear of my intentions, she, now, takes from my fingers; though I, myself, still have some trepidation concerning her rather formidable beak. Oh, her preference is cashews.
Tillie has moods that I've come to understand and accept as she is on vacation, after all. Some days, she's not very interested in me or the nuts, so I leave her alone. Some days, she even seems to hide from humans altogether. And, some days she'll, swiftly, run over for a meet and eat.
Bottom line, though I was secretly hoping for a feather in return, I am grateful merely for the presence of this wild creature and am most pleased that I can be a good-will ambassador for New York by sharing my food with her.
As we approach the day we set aside for expressing thanks for the good things in our lives, I am reminded of the old adage that it is better to give than to receive. But, I think it's best to share.
What's the difference? It may be subtle, but I think it's important.
I'm told that in Japanese, there are no words for the expression, "I love you." Instead, their words translate, "I am loving you." It is more active. It doesn't imply any objectification. It is present and energizing.
Likewise, I can give you something and be on my way. But, sharing puts us in mutual interaction...present and energized...as is the case with Tillie.
So, for this holiday, I am wishing you a celebration of loving and sharing.
*A park gardener friend refers to the bird as "she"...but my name could, also, work as
Tilly a.k.a. Tillinghast or Tillingham, if a "he."
Reminder: As I expressed in my last posting, until the end of the year, posting
readers and those they wish to gift will receive a $70 discount on combined
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