(from the "Pure Heart, Simple Mind" newsletter)
Although Tokyo is a huge metropolis, there are many small
streets and quiet areas where one can feel at ease. I live
about a half hour from the center of town and my
neighborhood has the feel of a small village.
I live in a large ground floor corner apartment in a three-story
building and my apartment also serves as my office. I love
the comfort of working from home, and I feel great not
having to commute to work every day.
Two sides of my apartment have verandas that run the full
length and width of my space. On the side that houses my
office and treatment room I have numerous beautiful plants
and flowers growing and a large birdfeeder that attracts
many of the locals.
I tend to get up around 6 a.m. on most weekday mornings.
If it's not raining, my winged friends are already perched
in the numerous tall shrubs nearby, chirping and alerting
me to the fact that breakfast has yet to be served. It can
get pretty darn noisy on the mornings I sleep in, as the
sound seems to go up one decibel for each minute I'm late!
They're very much like a nursery filled with small babies
crying out for their mother's milk.
Most of the birds are brown and only about three or four
inches in length. I have no idea what species they are,
but indeed they are plentiful, especially now that my
veranda has gotten to be so well known! An average
breakfast crowd is about fifteen, and if I'm in a
particularly good mood I sometimes serve them lunch as
The leader of the pack seems to be a mom, as she often
carries food back to the baby birds that show up in early
summer. She really makes it clear to me that birds do
indeed care for each other.
Once I serve breakfast, mom flies over to the veranda
railing and perches for a few seconds while calling out to
the others. Perhaps she's telling them none of the
neighborhood cats are around! Then she flies back to the
shrubs and hops around while talking up a storm. I always
imagine she's saying something like, "Be patient,
breakfast will be ready in a moment! Just let me check and
make sure everything is safe!" This back and
forth process takes place a few more times before she
finally lands on the feeder and has a bit to eat. After
snacking, she flies back to the shrubs and lets the others
know everything's fine, and they all quickly descend on
the feeder. When two youngsters squabble over the largest
scrap of bread, mom pops over and sharply scolds the both
of them before flying back to again stand watch. She only
returns to have her fill once she's sure everyone's had
their fair share, and most of them are back in the shrubs
waiting for her to finish. Very much like me and my sister
growing up in Brooklyn--both of us always wanting the heel
of the Italian bread and my mom quite happy to settle for
whatever was left.
It's deeply life affirming to witness the birds working as
a team, to support and protect each other. I'm
particularly touched by watching the mother care for her
brood. It's reassuring to know that throughout the
spectrum of animal life, moms care about their offspring,
and realize it's important that everyone shares in the
My wish for today is that all humankind might realize the
need to care for and nurture each other in a similar
It's so important we emotionally comprehend the importance
of sharing, and protecting the well-being of others,
especially when we fear there might not be enough to go
* * * * *
"Pure Heart, Simple Mind"™ is written and
edited and © Charlie Badenhop. All rights reserved.
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