I was recently inspired to speak out again about the most basic hypocrisies in our world and country…..judging others and the erosion of truth. I wrote this poem in response to all the trolling and name calling. Calling out the trolls and calling for a resurgence of sanity, values and the ‘real’ truth.
These pictures are selfies I created earlier this year when I was taking a course in how to creatively us photography phone apps.
I am joining in with Poets Unitedfor their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.
A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song. ~Maya Angelou
I can tell you the lesson of this recent wildlife sighting immediately….do not judge a book…well you know the rest. When I saw the bird above, at first I thought it was a House Finch. The House Finch has come to be more common around here after being introduced to NY from the western US in 1940….so my immediate reaction was, it’s a House Finch.
But when I stopped to look longer, I noticed the back of the bird was a bit different. Then I looked closer at their heads and…wait….this was not a House Finch. So I began snapping lots of shots, and did a search for small, red-headed birds.
Almost immediately the name Common Redpoll came up, Acanthis flammea. And when I looked outside again, there was a quite a flock of these small finches, covering the patio, searching for seed between the bricks as the snow had retreated quite a bit. They didn’t stay long, but long enough for me to observe and listen to these cuties.
And when I searched pictures I had taken from a few days before, I found had taken pictures of these birds who resembled the House Finch in the big ash trees. I easily recognized them by the deep rust-red patch on their foreheads and distinctive white bars on their wings. Males also have a pale red vest (like in the top photo).
If you live in Canada, the northern US or close to the Arctic Circle, you will see these birds as they migrate South from their breeding grounds in the Arctic tundra in winter. They like to hang out in open woods and weedy fields, and it is estimated their numbers are in the millions. It seems the noisy, energetic Redpolls I saw were heading back to the Arctic to breed.
In April we also saw many other red birds. On the bottom and top left are the male and female Northern Cardinal. The female was feeding on the lichen of the ash tree. I have spied other birds feeding on lichen too.
On the right are pictures of the Red-Bellied Woodpecker. Woodpeckers love our suet feeders and can be seen lining up or swooping others at the feeder to make their intentions known….get moving fella, I want some suet too. The cardinals pick up the dropped suet under the feeders. The center picture is a male Downy Woodpecker. I hear them constantly chattering and talking to us when we are out in the garden, especially if we are near the suet feeders.
Here are some interesting facts about Common Redpolls:
Common Redpolls survive temperatures down to –65 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sometimes Common Redpolls will tunnel into the snow (at least a foot long and 4 inches deep) to stay warm during the night if the temps are extremely low.
Redpolls have throat pouches for storing seeds. Once they fill their pouches, they fly away to swallow the seeds.
Although winter redpolls eat mostly birch seeds, they also eat other tree seeds, and seeds from grasses, sedges, and wildflowers. And if seeds are scarce they also eat insects.
Common Redpolls have been found to travel great distances; from Michigan to Siberia and Alaska to the eastern U.S.
“World peace must develop from inner peace. Peace is not just mere absence of violence. Peace is, I think, the manifestation of human compassion.” ― Dalai Lama XIV
I am forever the peace-maker. As a middle child, I avoided conflict and tried to help everyone get along. I even became a certified mediator to further my skills at peace making in my profession. And still to this day, my family and friends will call upon me to work out issues others are having. They call when they need an ear or a shoulder or a referee.
But I have never felt there was much peace in anything I did. Just trying to keep the peace perhaps, but who can keep peace. It seems we need to be peace, not keep peace. I confirmed this feeling when I recently joined in a global meditation for peace with Deepak Chopra.
His message was clear….we are peace. You can’t tell people to be at peace. You can’t really teach peace, but through your example of being peace others will respond. So how do you become peace especially when conflict seems to be escalating everywhere even within ourselves?
“You have peace,” the old woman said, “when you make it with yourself.” ― Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven
I have been on a pilgrimage to find peace within for quite a long time. And it wasn’t until recently that I have been able to feel I am more at peace or should I say I am peace.
For me, peace seems to be a deep internal feeling where I accept myself warts and all. One of the things I still struggle with is judging people and situations. I have trained myself to stop, step back and let go of the judgment as it does no good. Instead I try to understand the situation or person.
And I try to connect more with compassion. Not a pity or sympathy kind of compassion, but more of a tolerance and kindness sort as we really don’t know what it is like to live in another’s skin.
I think we may have lost our capacity for this kind of compassion in this world. And it is vital that we recapture it. Compassion for ourselves as well as others. Not an easy notion, I know.
So for now I am working on connecting with my internal self where peace, happiness and compassion are always present. I know I have said it before but I connect with my soul, my inner self, through my daily meditation. I find an inexhaustible source of peace and understanding there. And once found, I stay connected to that state of peace, compassion and happiness for longer and longer periods. Being peace…I am beginning to feel it really is in each of us.
Special Note:Purple is a favorite color of mine. It stands for someone who is sensitive,compassionate, understanding and supportive. Others come to you for help. Sounds like this color is perfect for me at this point in my life. A good color to represent peace too.
The picture below is my gift to you this week. Please download it and use it to spread peace.
All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014. Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.