Tag Archives: Inspiration

A lesson in Humility from Bird Seed

File Feb 10, 9 04 16 AM


I love birds, except for blue jays. Why my hate of them? There was a blue jay last year that destroyed the barn swallow nest under the patio. The swallows laid four clutches of eggs and with every clutch, the blue jay would eat the eggs. On the last attempt by this blue jay, the nest that had been there for years was destroyed. That was the same nest that gave a winter home to a Carolina wren.

With my love of birds, I feed and water them, especially during the winter when they have limited resources on the high plains of Texas. While checking out in Wal-Mart – I relearned a valuable and humble lesson and it came with the purchase of bird food.

The friendly and talkative young girl checking me out was probably no more than twenty. She commented on many of my purchases like all the cheese I was buying – yes – I love cheese to Lamb Chop (Azrael’s favorite toy), but it was the comments on the birdseed cake that caught my attention the most.

When she asked what kinds of birds I had I replied back that they were wild birds. I immediately could tell by the confusion on her face she did not understand what I meant by wild birds. She thought I actually had birds living in my house. Then I thought about my friend, June who has Archie and our conservation that morning. Archie was squawking loudly in the background. Apparently, there was a wild bird outside he that had peaked his interest.

As I tried to explain about doves, robins, and other birds, I could still see the confusion on the girl’s face, I took a patient breath and explained to her that the birds I was feeding were all outside wild birds that come and go. Some have dark heads, some have red colors, and some are almost entirely bright blue. They live in the trees, as well as travel all over town and Texas.

Sadly, she still didn’t get it. How do I know she didn’t get it? Because – her last comment said it all “well its cool that you don’t have them in your house.”

As I walked to my car and drove home, I reflected more on that exchange than I probably should have. But it truly bothered me knowing that this girl did not know about wild birds.

I cannot imagine not being raised outside and knowing what birds are or even a bobcat, toad, butterfly, or the smell of wildflowers. I must stop and realize that not everyone was raised around wildlife and exposed to the outdoors. I climbed trees like a monkey growing up and came into contact with a variety of bird nests and birds. I hiked with my dad on all of our trips across the states. I saw birds of many colors never knowing what they were. Someone did tell me what a magpie was in Wyoming and it soon became my favorite bird.

I cannot imagine not having the multitude of wildlife experiences I had. I certainly cannot imagine anyone else knowing what even birds are. But sadly – I did encounter someone who had no clue about wild birds. I can only hope to run into this girl again with bird food and try my best to explain to her again about wild birds.

In reflection, this was a hard lesson for me. But it these kinds of lessons that remind me of my humanity and that sharing my wildlife knowledge is one of the most important things I can do.

The Power of An Apology

Power of Apology

In deleting old emails I was reminded what the power of words can do in healing distressed and broken hearts. As I was going through all my saved emails from all the rescue organizations I’ve been a part of since 2011, I was reminded what the simple words of an apology can mean to another person or persons.

The small backstory from my latest momentous apology came when the people who I thought I known showed their true characters. Once that character was revealed on all sides – my heart told me to reach out to the people whom I wronged earlier. I did it immediately. Yes – I was scared to write the apology. I remember my hands shaking, my heart pounding as I typed my words out, but I did it. Even a tear slipped by… Then I pushed the send button. Pride had nothing to do with me being apologetic at that moment in time. I felt truly bad that the people whom I had trusted betrayed my trust and made me believe the worst in the people I was apologizing to.

But what if you don’t want to apologize? That’s perfectly normal because I had an opportunity to apologize to someone earlier this year. My logical side reasoned it was better to leave the past in the past. As a friend and I were recently discussing this – there are some people you don’t need to apologize to because the wounds run so deep its better to leave the door closed, because that apology may open that door again when it should’ve remained closed.

Here’s my guidance on reaching out with an apology…

Trust your heart and instincts when it comes to apologizing. If it weighs heavy on your heart and mind – then apologize.

Attitude and heart go hand in hand when it comes to apologizing. Apologies must be given with a good heart combined with the right attitude. If your heart is not in it for the right reason then that person(s) you’re apologizing to will see through your words., as well as your attitude. Sincerity can be seen both through your actions and read into your words whether in person or in writing.

The timing of the apology means everything as well. When it comes to apologizing there is no time limit. It doesn’t matter if its minutes after the deed or months or years later – the apology still says that you are deeply sorry for what transpired.

Leaving someone speechless after you apologize means your apology did what it was intended. It was your spoken or written words that meant the world to that person and was probably a blessing in disguise they’ve needed.

So if you’ve got someone you need to apologize to – do it. Find the courage to say the words and mean them.

We all can learn from each other. If I can inspire you to reach out to apologize to someone you’ve wronged – no matter how long ago it was – then me sharing this has done what I hoped it would do. Rise above yourself. Take pride out of the equation and do the right thing because the words of an apology have tremendous healing. Never underestimate what the power of an apology can do or mean.

What happened after I pushed the send button? Emails were received back that made me cry. The simple words of my apology brought healing and recognition that I should’ve been listening to these people all along. I listened to my heart. Friendship(s) resulted from that apology and I deeply cherish those friends in my life.

Now – go make that apology.


Graphic – ©Christena Stephens