The Birds of the Air

Originally written in TACKED THOUGHTS for The Freeman
by Nancy Unchuan Toledo

There are birds that live underneath the awning that covers my bedroom windows. They’ve lived there as long as I can remember. They make sharp trilling noises in the morning when it’s sunny. And they make low muted mutterings when it’s raining. At night, they’re deathly silent. If I had a more scientific mind, I’d have written a research paper on them—figured out what time of the year they mate, give birth or leave their nests. I’d probably figure out, too, how many generations of birds have co-existed with me. But the truth is, I rather take them for granted—until they wake me up early on Saturday mornings when they seem to like having a convocation or when they work on their nests. They get my attention then. But I hardly do anything about it. After all, I reason: they don’t have trees to live in anymore; they’ve as much right to this house as I do. And so we live together these nameless birds and I.

It’s rather like having an audience to my life for when I do the boring stuff like writing my columns or watching a sentimental movie or reading an engaging book. These are the parts that would definitely be cut out had I signed on to a reality tv show. But the birds don’t seem to mind that my life is made of the boring inconsequential things. They don’t mind me at all.

They’re so busy living their own lives that they don’t really care at all what I do as long as they’re dry and fed and safe. They’re tireless little birds. Every so often I notice that they have some twig or piece of plastic in their beaks as they continually make and remake their nests. They don’t seem to ever get stressed at all. They just go right on doing what they should be doing at that moment. They don’t seem to worry about having enough insurance or finding the right kind of car or having somewhere to go to on weekends.

They remind me, these little avian neighbors of mine, what it is that the Good Book says of life—that if God takes care of all the needs of the birds of the air and the lilies of the field how much more He is willing to take care of me. Okay, so I won’t be throwing my health insurance card away and I’ll still be saving part of my paycheck for a rainy day, but I think I’ll at least make an effort to stop worrying so much about it now. And if I sometimes forget, I’m sure the birds will remind me.

About Nancy Unchuan Toledo

When Nancy started teaching high school at age 21, she didn’t really think she’d make a career out of it. She was right. Ten years later and she realized teaching isn’t her career, it’s her passion. Writing is her passion, too, and she writes a bi-monthly column for the Freeman. Mostly she writes about her family, her friends, her students, her experiences in teaching, her love of books and her faith. Because those are the things that she cares about the most–although not necessarily in that order.

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