An advertisement for a trip to Yellowstone National Park

By John Pierce

A pair of Eastern bluebirds is working on a second batch of offspring in the one-room cedar house I erected in our backyard earlier this spring. Like before, the brilliantly beautiful male bird is staking out his territory now.

Three places have most of his combative attention: a metal plate on the basketball goal, the side mirrors on my car, and the kitchen windows. In each place he tries to ward off the other male bluebirds.

He leaves behind evidence of his presence around the basketball goal and on my car. His tapping noise has returned to the bay window where we eat most meals. This will last for just a little while longer, however. It comes with the egg-laying season.

What he has yet to learn — and apparently never will — is that he is actually doing battle with his own reflection.

For Earth Day 1970, cartoonist Walt Kelly drew his famous swamp resident Pogo saying: “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

What is true for a hand-drawn  ‘possum and an overly protective avian father often applies to us as well. Some of our worst fears, anxieties, insecurities and destructiveness are not the result of outside forces.

That’s why peace within — that passes all understanding — is such a needed and divine gift.  

 

 

 

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