I have a habit of looking out of the bedroom window when I first get up, reassuring myself that everything is as expected in my part of the world. I have started to feel a sense of safety in the sameness of my surroundings.
Then something special happened today that reminded me that unexpected moments, what I call life’s idiosyncrasies, are a necessary part of enjoying life to its fullest. I looked out and was immediately enraptured by a red-bellied woodpecker on the tree beside my bedroom window!
I had never seen a woodpecker, although I read that they are common in Tennessee. As I watched, the woodpecker did exactly what his name implies: he pecked at the tree, seemingly looking for food.His head appeared to move at a hundred pecks a minute. I thought,”Boy that looks painful!”
I kept looking as he continued working at his task, just fascinated to see such a beautiful moment. I called Douglas to share in what felt almost like a sacred event, as the woodpecker lived his life exactly as God ordained. He was doing what his ancestors have been doing for centuries, and reminded me that God instilled in every creature the means by which they can access the necessities of life, such as eating.
The only woodpecker I had ever seen was on a cartoon when I was a child, Woody Woodpecker. I loved hearing him laugh: Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey. His laugh caused a ripple effect as everyone in the room would start laughing at his laugh. I almost expected the woodpecker this morning to start laughing when two fat squirrels were running around the yard next to the tree.
Seeing the woodpecker outside, along with two fat squirrels, reminded me that so often we render animals and birds invisible, failing to see them or taking their needs into consideration as we build more communities on what were their natural habitats.
It was a wonderful change to witness that beautiful bird, and I thank God for the opportunity to see it and the ability to appreciate its beauty and necessity in my life. Yes, sameness can feel safe, but taking the time to experience life little idiosyncrasies is good for the soul.