Why can’t They just Get Along? The hummingbirds are at it again. Fighting for the territory around the feeders after relatively calm relationships during the summer months. I know from researching hummingbird behavior that they are basically territorial and concerned about protecting what they consider to be the feeder for their immediate “family.” Essentially, a “fixed pie” mentality. That there is only a fixed amount of resources and sharing means less for me and my “tribe.” Such “backyard politics” made me think of our human political systems and the idea of a fixed pie mentality about power and control of resources. Watching “warring” hummingbirds triggered thoughts about warring parties in national politics right now. Why can’t we all just get along? Set our sights on what is best for all of us together, not see the “other” as some kind of enemy that needs to be defeated? Even as a child I watched “playground” politics and found myself drawn into a mediator role. Then several decades of functioning as a mediator in family law matters. Can’t get away from a continual desire for the family of humankind and all God’s creatures to work together, to share, not fight each other. As for the hummers, wish I could talk “hummingbird” language and let them know there is a continuing supply of hummingbird “manna” (sugar water) available. I wonder if they would listen?
Packing/UnPacking/ReCycling: In August I spent approximately two weeks in Boone, N. C. for some vacation time with Torre and David, my daughter and son-in-law. Both busy doctors but in the midst of moving – just around the corner from their current home to a slightly larger one. An older one they had purchased and spent about a year in extensive renovation. Benefits? A larger lot, higher elevation, clearer horizon of the mountain overlooking Boone, more space to welcome visiting friends and family and accommodate the multi-footed members of their immediate family (four cats and Wally, the Bassett). I wanted to help and what better way to spend vacate-tion time than doing what I could to assist their vacating one space to move into an expanded one. My role? To help pack up at the old house, unpack at the new house while they also made decisions about what to take with them, what to let go of, what to recycle and what to add. As churches such as St. John’s and Farnham are trying to get to higher ground (so to speak) to view a clearer horizon in this unsettling time, I reflect on the time helping Torre and David move. The idea of moving into expanded spaces and a newer and altered but more practical and even refined way of living. This pandemic time is forcing us to reexamine how we use our religious and spiritual spaces and how we live together as congregations and within the larger community. A good time to maybe consider what is essential to carry forward, what enhances our life together, consider what is not and can be let go of, what can be recycled. Consider what to keep, what to share, what is to be left behind, what to be passed forward. Tough when the future appears to be uncertain as it unfolds. Challenging because it requires patience. And trust that there is a Divine design. Patience and trust – not always easy for us humans. Maybe something to pray for. Something to ponder.