For the Birds

Back Porch View

Long before I moved into this home, someone put stickers on the windows and doors. Not the removable kind meant for windows, but the kind that you might put on binders or wire-bound notebooks. They were promotional materials for international travel programs, complete with phone numbers and website addresses. They were placed in the middle of the glass doors and side window panes, blocking an otherwise beautiful view of the Green Mountains. Once the furniture was in place and the majority of the boxes unpacked, my husband and I devoted several hours to removing them.

On the next sunny afternoon, I heard thumping on the back door and an occasional tap on the side window. It was birds. They were flying under the porch ceiling and bumping into the glass doors, doing their best to take what looked like a clear flight path through the house to the front yard. The purpose of the stickers suddenly became clear.

Back Porch View Looking In

I replaced the stickers with origami – something applied with a piece of scotch tape and easily removed. I can change them in a few seconds whenever the mood strikes, and future residents of this home can do the same. A little obstruction in the view is a small price to pay for the beauty and safety of birds in flight.

Side Window Origami

Letting go of what doesn’t matter: The particular means of caring for non-human neighbors.

Loving what does: Keeping the birds safe, and remembering that this world was made for them as much as it was for me.

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