The lake was gone. Pumped dry by an unscrupulous farmer, my Dad was heartbroken. Good farmers, like my Dad, are almost always conservationists. Dad bought the land and got some government grants to return it to wetland status.
Today, we were astounded.
My husband and eight year old son went out for a little fishing — what they saw was something that has had our whole family agape. Thousands of crane-like birds with golden combs in their hair with their nests full of sky blue eggs and tiny baby hatchlings emerging throughout the day. Additionally, larger birds are in the high cypresses – cranes, ducks, birds that sound like monkeys (we called them monkey birds because we haven't looked them up yet.) Bullfrogs the size of my head!!!
Never in my whole life have I ever seen anything like this! We just don't know who to call to tell what has now begun to happen on Dad's land.
We estimate that over the next few weeks the rest of the birds will hatch and eventually the chicks will learn to fly. We plan to return often to watch them grow – never touching them, but knowing that these birds are really already used to us. They know that the gun we carry would only be to shoot a snake or something that would treat us as lunch!
And yet the beauty of it all!
This land has been taken care of to allow wildlife to grow. And grow they are. Now my youngest son shares his birthday with at least several hundred baby birds!
To me, the thing I took away is that when we do things that make the environment right for something – often what happens is beyond what we can imagine or understand.
Dad got a conservation grant, reconstructed the dam to hold the water in, and makes sure others stay away from this property. It is so well hidden! But the birds have flocked there, feeling safe in their sanctuary, from the racoons and other tyrants that prey on their chick eggs.
Each small cypress tree had 2-5 nests and each nest had 3-5 eggs! We tried to count the birds, we really did, but there were at least a thousand! If you know someone from the Audobon society, let us know! We'd love to know what these birds are.
For me, beginning the summer, this tells me – when I make my home conducive for family time — having dinner together, spending time together – we reap enjoyable memories. When I make my classroom conducive for learning – good, working equipment, passion-based projects to promote learning — learning happens in ways that I cannot imagine. When I, this summer, work towards finishing one book and starting another – make the environment conducive to such writing — it will happen.
You see, one unmutable fact of life is that we reap what we sow! If you sow kind words and hard work in wise, productive directions- you reap good relationships and productive happenings at work. If you pump the workplace dry of fun, laughter, and teamwork – you will experience a drought and misery in the workplace.
Today is Memorial Day in the USA, and my grandfather is always on my mind – wounded in the Korean War, he was a great man, so dedicated to his family. No one likes war – especially those who fight them, but sometimes they are part of life, unfortunately.
We cannot help the times to which we are born. We are living now. We must make the best of where we are and do those things that will hatch forth a good future for ourselves, our children, and our countries.
Building the dam in the lake was very hard work – done several years a go by my son, husband, father, and nephews — they sweated, watched for snakes, and came home filthy dirty! Now, several years later, we see new life springing from their work. New life that wouldn't have happened, or at least wouldn't have happened here without their sweat and Dad's vision.
Protecting freedom and democracy is very hard work — many men and women have given their lives, their sanity, their health – some came home but came home shattered. But we have seen new life spring from their work.
Now, we have hard work set before us — rebuilding schools into centers of excellent learning, rebuilding homes into places where kids feel safe, loved, and nurtured, and rebuilding countries into places that don't spend what they cannot afford to pay back! It bothers me greatly to see the debt that has sucked dry much of the hope of the future for so many countries. If you can't afford it – YOU DON'T BUY IT!!!
It is time to reconstruct – to build the dams, to sweat and work hard – doing the right things to make profitable businesses, successful well-educated students, and homes rich in what counts.
Somehow life comes into super sharp focus as your boat pulls up to a nest and you see a tiny beak poke and prod its way out of a perfect blue egg.
This, my dear friends, was the perfect way to begin the summer and makes me feel rich beyond measure. What a gift to witness such beauty! This is also how I feel when a student finds something they are very very good at, and I'm lucky enough to see it happen in my room. New life hatches – but not without quite a bit of work to make the environment right.
New life is hatching all around you!
The question is, are you opening your eyes to see it?
Are you getting out among it?
Are you doing the things to make your environment conducive to hatch new life?
Life is all around us — will it hatch near you — or stay away from you? Do you see growth and life or shrinking and death?
Really — so much of the choice is yours. You cannot help the time in which you are born – you can help what you birth with the time you have.
Photos (c) 2009, Vicki A. Davis, Creative Commons Share Alike Non Commercial Attribution Share Alike
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