Thursday, July 7, 2016

Hard to Swallow

Tree swallow in flight
Last week while staying with friends at their beautiful Alabama lake house, I felt my way in the 5 a.m.darkness onto their dock to try to snag a picture of the sunrise.

I'd already missed it that week. Twice. I wasn't about to miss it again.

So I got out there early, granola bar in hand, camera ready, and waited. Patiently at first. Then ... not so much.

Surprise, Deb. The summer sunrise isn't until 5:48. Aargh.

So I grumped around a bit, complained to the fish, argued with the turtles, did a few angry calisthenics and paced the dock. Oh well, at least I could drink in the early morning peace and quiet as the sky gradually lightened.

Suddenly an incessant screeching noise assaulted the silence. I could barely see a black dot in the sky, but there it was off toward the east, circling high over the water. It just kept circling round and round and round for the longest time, squawking constantly. I had nothing else to do but ponder: What was this crazy bird doing? Who was it shrieking to? What was it trying to accomplish?
A swallow doin' my thang

It wasn't fishing or even scoping out breakfast - it flew way too high for that. It's actions seemed to me to be completely illogical and totally unproductive.

I decided it had to be a girl bird because she was acting an awful lot like me: going around in circles for no apparent reason, getting nowhere, complaining the entire time.

I could tell by her cry she was a swallow, but I'd never seen one so persistent. Or quite so verbal. That silly bird kept it up - circling and screeching - for the next 20 minutes. Then as if to make sure I'd had all I could stand, she moved directly over my head and continued for another 20. I took a video clip and will try to add it here, but I can't promise it'll play.

STOP already!

Why on earth wouldn't she change her game plan, her redundant route, or at least shut her beak?
When I finally got so annoyed I could spit, it hit me: Hey, that's me up there. Papa God's showing me a mirror of my worst self: going around and around in circles, getting nowhere, complaining the entire time.

I had to laugh. It was so true.

How so like Him to use his marvelous creation to point out - in a gentle, palatable way - something I really need to work on. My complaining. My grousing. My squawking.

So okay. I get it. That's my next goal. To become less of a grouse and not so hard to swallow. And I don't mean the feathered kind.

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