Unwelcome Guests at the Table

We have six inches of snow on the ground and it is bitterly cold here in Western Washington.

Last night the temperatures plummeted. It was 10 degrees when I woke up this morning, our high for the day was 26 degrees.

Normally we spend the Thanksgiving holiday mired in the mud, not frozen. Everyone, including the birds, seemed to be taken by surprise. Unprepared for the inhospitable cold.

My bird feeders have been full of guests every minute of the daylight hours for the past 3 days. I can’t tell if I just have that many birds or if they are just that hungry.

A new family of guests arrived at my feeders early this afternoon. The picture above was taken through my living room window (see my thistle, Anne?). The guests, a small flock of starlings, were very timid. They wouldn’t let me photograph them from outside, I had to stay inside if I was going to allow them to eat.

Buddy the WonderDog was very upset that we had this flock of large, intimidating and uninvited guests. He did his best to scare them away — hitting the window, voicing a sharp YAP as he tapped the glass.

I told Buddy that although these were strangers to us, they were cold and hungry too. We could not turn them away.

It didn’t matter that they are an invasive species (not that Buddy knows that bit of information). It didn’t matter if they looked a bit scruffy and dirty and homeless. They needed the comfort that we could provide here at our table.

I never could get Buddy to agree. To him they were just big, scary birds.

And now I wonder, what uninvited guests in my life have I tried to scare away? Who has needed my hospitality lately and I have turned them away?

If it was you, please, forgive me. I’m still learning to love …

“Religion isn’t about believing things. It’s ethical alchemy. It’s about behaving in a way that changes you, that gives you intimations of holiness and sacredness.” ~Karen Armstrong
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~ by Kimberly Mason on November 24, 2010.

One Response to “Unwelcome Guests at the Table”

  1. Wonderful, thoughtful post. Thank you; it’s always so great to hear your voice!

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