"Story allows us to bring order to experience, to find pattern in events, to discover meaning in confusion -- and story allows us to share the order, pattern, meaning. Through story we remember, understand, instruct, entertain, celebrate." Donald M. Murray, Crafting a Life in Essay, Story, Poem (p. 77)
"Come sit by the window and watch," my grandma would say after finishing the breakfast dishes. Grandma never left a job until it was done so dishes were washed, dried, and put away before we'd all gather around the table to birdwatch. After the work was complete we'd sit down at the kitchen table to gaze out the window into the backyard. Grandma had an amazing backyard with a rolling hill that was just right for racing, rolling, and playing. There were three old maples with their carefully shaped branches spaced the exact distance necessary for running bases. In the center of the yard was a bird bath with neat rows of marigolds planted carefully around it.
We were sure Grandma's yard had been designed for kickball and other outdoor games, but Grandma was quite sure it was perfect for attracting birds. From the trees for nesting, to the birdbath, to the feeder always filled with food, her backyard beckoned birds to stop for awhile. Whether it was winter, spring, summer or fall, Grandma thought it necessary to keep bird food out for the birds. This food attracted birds at all hours of the day. We'd pull up a chair beside Grandma in the morning to watch the birds slowly make their way to the feeder as the morning sun rose in the sky.
As the brown begins to be taken over by green and the sounds of birds are back in our mornings. As the evening air warms allowing quiet moments on the patio searching for a variety of Ohio birds. I am reminded of these times sitting quietly at Grandma's table watching heaven through her kitchen window.