Kris’ paternal grandmother, known to us as Grandma Willie (her real name was Willamina), taught me to watch birds. I’m grateful to her for it. Sitting on my back porch recently with Lukas and Annika, I watched the sudden flash of a Baltimore Oriole dart through the yard. I was glad I could identify it, because naming it gave me a history of the Orioles I’ve seen. I have to agree with Buechner, who observed this about birds:
We mostly neglect birds (or most of us do). Do birds do the same to us, he asks.
Do birds every once in a while see us as we see them, as basically irrelevant but occasionally worth the cocking of a beady eye, the flicker of a wing, the first few notes of a song?
Beyond Words, 47.
My commitment to the whole notion of a millennium, I admit, is sometimes no thicker than that line of Buechner’s Beyond Words, and sometimes I think such an argument might just be the best one: Could God, I say to myself, abandon creation without completing the job?