It snowed again today. We woke with 4-6″ on the ground. It was quiet out. It took some doing to clear the driveway and the sidewalks. After a couple of hours had passed, it was as if we never even shoveled. Another 4-6″ covered the ground. Aaron got the snowblower out this afternoon to clear the way so we could pull the cars into the garage. He also cleared the sidewalk under the pear trees where the little dried pear berries have been falling to the ground. We step on them as we pass.
I noticed my two families of quail out this afternoon, in the cold, looking for tiny dried wet morsels of pear berries. I studied their tracks in the snow on the sidewalk as I watched them pecking. I know there isn’t much left for them to eat, but they keep coming back, hoping for more. Today I gave them a feast. I spread about a cup full of hearty bird seed with cracked corn and sunflower seeds along the walk. They fluttered up into the trees as I entered their world, and as soon as I was gone again, they flew down, one by one, to discover what I’d done. I could tell they were thrilled. My heart felt warm, as I imagined them sleeping in their snowy white world tonight with seed in their little bellies. I hope it brings them some degree of warmth.
I thought, this afternoon, of gifts I’ve been given. Unexpected gifts that just come to me in unexpected ways. Sometimes heavenly gifts, sometimes earthy. I feel so grateful today for the gift of comfort and warmth and simple nourishment like whole wheat toast and hot chocolate or cracked corn and sunflower seeds. And I feel grateful to have noticed my quail so I could feed them a bit. I hope they sleep well tonight, out in the cold. I also hope I will continue to notice the small unexpected ways I might give.