Old Teen Essays
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Article ID: 4511
Age Group: Adult
Posted: May 14th. 2001
The Love of Ordinary Things
Greetings Witches, Wiccans and Pagans,
As Wren sipped her coffee and watched the early morning feeding frenzy taking place under the willow tree, she noticed how much the 'clientele' had changed over the last three years. Where the patrons to 'Wren's Delicatessen' were once just four squirrels and a couple of blue jays, there now was a motley and oftentimes unruly crowd elbowing (do birds even have elbows?) each other out of the way. While we still have squirrels (about 11 of them) and blue jays (6 or so) the main bird sect frequenting the joint these days are-and at last count there are 52 of them- the pigeons. Ordinary gray pigeons. Cooing in the gutters - outside our bedroom window - all day and at all hours of the night pigeons. 'Columba livia' - and a few 'Zenaidi macroura' (Mourning doves. They are technically pigeons too. Only prettier.)- which the book says are Rock Doves. They're Pigeons. And sipping from her coffee mug, looking down upon that sea of cooing and very ordinary birds, Wren just couldn't be more content.
Living in another house, in another time, in another city (and married to another man), Wren recalls another neighbor. This woman had a contraption in her back yard that would make most of today's maximum-security prisons look like a have-a-heart raccoon trap. It was a bird feeder. It was a bird feeder designed for attracting just the 'right' kind of birds if you get what Wren means. There were funnels on the pole. There was a trick door that slammed shut when a bird of too much heft or a marauding squirrel landed upon it. There were shiny whirl-a-jiggy things and some other stuff that Wren never could figure out the purpose of. And, of course, the thing just never seemed to work right.
Wren could tell that the thing never really did what it was supposed to do from the expression on her neighbor's face. The neighbor would come rushing out into her yard waving her arms at the squirrels that were thumbing one paw at the trick door while stuffing sunflower seeds between their smirking lips with the other. And there were pigeons. Lots and lots of pigeons. The neighbor was not happy. And sure enough, she'd soon be spied out in her yard opening up new boxes of what looked like trash can covers and even bigger funnels and is-that-a-rubber snake? Up they'd go. Wiping her hands and taking the boxes to the curb, Wren could almost hear her saying, "Well, THAT should take care of THAT!" Surely now she was prepared to receive only the 'right' kind of birds. And, of course, as we all learned from the movie, Jurassic Park, 'Life will find a way'-and they did. Wren doesn't know if the neighbor ever got enough of the 'right' kind of birds to offset all of that pent up frustration or the 'guaranteed to work' mail order catalog expenses. Judging from the scowl that the neighbor always had on her face, Wren doesn't think so. And that neighbor probably isn't the only person who has gotten so caught up in looking for the 'special' that she has forgotten how to love the ordinary.
When you think about it, it is mostly the ordinary things in life that really make us happy anyway. The sound of the doorknob turning that signals your loved one has returned home safely. The "Oh, baby! THAT sure smells good!' remark heard as he/she/they come wandering into the kitchen. The vibrating love purr of that fat cat on your lap (who is happily shedding fur into your computer mouse and you don't even care) or settling in with a big bowl of popcorn (or other salty snack treat of choice) for the resolution to that darned last season 'cliff-hanger' episode of Buffy that you have waited three months to see (And taking the phone off of the hook. And not feeling guilty about it.) are some of the ordinary things that make life so wonderful. And they happen every day. Not just once in a special while. Not just once in a not-often-enough while, here and there, hit or miss-- or just with certain 'special' people, events, lottery-ticket-dreams or Nobel Prize awards. Every day, these very ordinary things, people and events happen in our lives. And when we come to love the ordinary in the everyday, we truly can always find something to be happy about IN every day.
Wren likes ordinary things because they are the things that happen the most often. So most often, it is the ordinary things that she ends up writing about here. It's not that she doesn't also enjoy a snooty-written-for-academia thing now and again. She certainly does. It's just that she doesn't find as many snooty-writers-for-academia rooting around for safflower seeds under the willow tree as she does pigeons. Material is material. Writers are always looking for material to write about and those ordinary things are just so convenient in that way. They are everywhere and if we take the time to discover the beauty in them, we'll never run out of things to write about, think about or be happy about. Make no mistake; Wren is not about to turn down that million-dollar lottery check when it comes. But she's not about to forget to welcome all of the ordinary pigeons into her life either.
And when you add up all of the wonderfully quirky, mind expanding, material provoking, coffee-sipping moments in your very ordinary days- you may discover that something really 'special' visited the 'life-feeder' in your own back yard as well. Whatever it is, feed it.
Photo credits: The beautiful altar shot to your upper right came in this past week from Wander Moon Shadow (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) and is a powerful image taken at their Beltane event in the Ocala/Silver Springs area of Florida (USA). "I am sending these pictures for your consideration for your site. I took them during our small group's Beltane 2001 Ritual. The candle light shot is our favorite, it shows our feast and offering" -- Thanks Wander Moon Shadow for this inspirational image! - Fritz & Wren
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