Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
Of course, the garden is not just a piece of ground in which flowers, shrubs, trees and vegetables grow; it is a living organism supporting life in all its forms. In amongst the glorious roses, peonies and all the other flowers there is room for a host of insects and snails, slugs and bugs but also, bees and birds.
Over the last few years a family of blackbirds has made a nest in our winter jasmine hedge. As we hadn’t seen them this year we wondered if they had chosen to make a home elsewhere. So yesterday I was delighted to see Mother Blackbird taking material to the hedge to make her nest. Of course, I do not know if she had nested there last year but perhaps that does not matter. What is important is that she trusted us enough to build a nest, lay her eggs and raise her young chicks here in our garden because she felt safe.
Now, recently there have been a number of magpies in the trees and on the ground around here. Some people do not like magpies; noisy chattering birds with black and white plumage and a long tail quite unlike anything else in the UK. It is true that, their challenging, almost arrogant attitude has won them few friends, but as members of the crow family they are one of nature’s waste disposal experts. Like every other creature on this earth they need to feed their young even if that does mean stealing the eggs or the young of nesting birds. But they have the same right to existence as the blackbird, the robin, the blue tits or any other bird that feeds from our garden, so we really can’t complain.
Yet despite the threat from the magpies and indeed the other predators lying in wait for her to hatch her chicks Mother Blackbird has built a nest in our garden.
And perhaps we can learn from her. As she trusts us not to disturb her nest so must we remember that we can safely place our trust in the Lord. We can be confident that the doubts, the fears, the worries and the troubles which the magpies represent can have no effect on us if we do.
‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.’ Proverbs 3:5-6(KJV)
‘But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.’ Jeremiah 17:7 (NIV)
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time employment for a number of years