Sprawled out on every inch of the couch underneath a blanket, I surrender to the wooing of Sabbath when eyelids become heavy with Madame Bovary and her antics.  A few moments later, the repetitive vibrations from the bird bath awakens me from slumber.

Keeping eyes closed, I negotiate internally, if I move that bird is sure to fly off, it isn’t worth a steely glance, I should just go back to sleep.

Oh, but for the sweetness of a picturesque Sunday nap on the back porch hemmed in by a pine fence. The birds are teaching me just as He said they would.

Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds. Matthew 6:26, MSG

Gently moving my head on the pillow, I glimpse the winged water fountain interrupting my dreamscape. Pushing out his crimson chest like a boxer postulating significance among the crowds in the estuary, feathers flap revealing an impressive wing span.

Beyond, tiny birds flit in the undercover of branches, waiting a chance to slide into cool, refreshing waters. Patiently, they allow the one infatuated with the limelight an extravagance of time and attention.

Each branch is a rung on the ladder holding distinct varietal families like siblings huddling on a platform, whispering of plans before careening into water gymnastics.

When the cardinal exits, the tufted titmouse glides slowly like the entrails of a parachute jump. Her grey downy mohawk shakes like a garden sprinkler, water droplets teasing glances from the cardinal audience.

A conservative finch quickly follows, perching on rim and pushing beak into water as if to test the temperature before full relinquishment. Two in the finch family follow, flanking the conservative fellow, three blushing cheeks and chests awaiting mother’s permission, because they’ve just eaten lunch, of course.


When crowds of bird families vanquish, my gaze turn upward to air traffic; beaks and feathers whizzing by like space sprockets on the Jetsons.

I don’t understand bird language but the more I listen, the more I notice and remember.

Bird sounds drifting through open windows have awakened me with songs of hope since I was a young child taking an afternoon nap.

It’s as if God is reminding me that free and unfettered during a season of waiting doesn’t mean aimless, lazy, and irresponsible or a lack of identity.

Careless in the care of God is the definition of Sabbath and the playground for noticing His provision.

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