Feed the Birds

Shopping recently with the youngest child who loves animals and nature, we purchased/acquired a bird-feeder and a bag of birdseed that she had quietly put in the trolley, unnoticed.  Once home, feeling enthusiastic about getting the new ‘kit’ operational – a true network person for woodland birds and animals, she asked about it repeatedly until her Daddy found a hammer and few spare moments to hang the feeder above the deck, filled with seed.  Moments later, having been perched motionless on a chair looking out onto the deck, watching the feeder for ‘customers’, little T began to cry.  “They aren’t coming for the food!” she said through tears, feeling very disappointed.

This started a conversation on waiting and patience, that it might take the birds a little while, even days or more, to find the new feeder and to trust they can safely feed there.  Feeling pleased with the metaphor, I thought how waiting for the birds to accept the food is like so many other situations where help is involved.  Sometimes the ‘help’ takes a while to arrive.  Sometimes the ‘help’ arrives and takes a little longer to be found, noticed or accepted.  Sometimes, the ‘help’ is not accepted at all, as it perhaps feels unhelpful for the person it is hoped to be meant for, or they may not want any help at all.

The main message I have tried to share at home is this:  If one can help, help.  Whether it is a child, a family, a colleague working with a child/family.  If you can help, help.  There might not be a noticeable difference right away, or even ever.  The ‘help’ might even be ignored or rejected, but surely it is better than not trying to do anything at all?  As colder days and longer nights draw in, hopefully people can feel safer knowing they have someone on their network who can and will listen, believe and do something to HELP, even if the help doesn’t help immediately.

For the little person here who is on the birds’ network, I hope they find the help she’s offered them soon 🙂