Slowing Down to Watch Bird TV

Some days, you just need to slow down, wash some dishes, and watch some TV. Bird TV. A meditation on mindfulness.

Six or seven years ago, our dishwasher stopped working very efficiently. We found ourselves regularly prewashing or rewashing dishes, and rather than getting the dishwasher tuned up, we decided to wash all of our dishes by hand (perhaps we were born for another century…yet God places us in time and space for his good purpose).

After so many years of washing by hand, there are days when I wonder why we don’t just fix the dishwasher. I get tired of washing the same dishes so many times during the day. I think of all of the productive tasks I could be doing instead of washing dishes.

However, today, as I washed the breakfast dishes, I was reminded of why this dish washing the old fashioned way is such a great idea. It forces us to slow down and gives us the chance to watch Bird TV.

That’s right. Our kitchen overlooks the backyard, and this morning the yard has been filled with juncos, chickadees, a robin, a northern flicker and a scrub jay (among other birds that I cannot yet identify by name). It is a dull grey day here in the Pacific Northwest, and a steady soaking rain is falling, not the kind that would keep the birds hidden away, but the kind that, if you spent more than five minutes outside, would soak you through and through. This isn’t keeping the birds out of our yard. In fact, they are busily hopping about on the branches of our barren cherry tree and scrounging around in our wasted garden. They are swooping around the bird feeder that hangs in front of our giant dining room window and making attempts at the suete feeder that David gave me for Christmas, which now hangs right outside the window over the sink. As I wash the dishes, a junco lands on the suete feeder. I slow my dishwashing motions even more so as not to startle him away.

Then, a comparative giant of a bird swoops through my line of sight. It’s our old friend the northern flicker, a Goliath among these small little juncos and chickadees, who in years past has made it his duty to wake us early in the morning as he attempts to enjoy a snack of ants along our gutters. He is busy in our yard this morning, yet the other birds seem comfortable enough around him.

I catch a glimpse of what I have named the lemon bird perched up in the brown of the lilac bushes along our neighbor’s fenceline. I love this little spot of a bird who reminds me of spring to come. Why have I named him a lemon bird? He and his little friends love to eat all of the seeds off our proliferation of lemon balm, and so I wonder if his soft yellow color is due to the plant he so enjoys (not likely, but for now it gives me a name with which to talk about him).

I’m done washing the dishes, but I have been reminded this morning of the value of slowing down. We live in a world that is in such a hurry. When I live in a hurry, I don’t have the opportunity to enjoy God’s creation. The more “efficient” my life is, the more I fill my day with tasks and events, the more stressed I feel, and the guiltier I feel when I do slow down. Perhaps this tedious washing of the dishes by hand is a gift from God to remind me to slow down and watch some Bird TV.

“Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns [NOR USE DISHWASHERS], and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matthew 6: 26; bracketed portion, my addition)

Do you love teaching science class? Maybe not? 😅

You’re not alone. Science class challenges most homeschooling parents.

Too often, the lessons consume too much time, and the experiments have questionable value for the amount of waste they produce. (Paper maché volcanoes, anyone?)

You might find yourself asking, is this really worth it?

We develop science curricula to help you address these problems, and more.

We believe the best science education starts with what you already have in your home and in your yard.

We believe science is less about accumulating book-knowledge, and more about developing powers of observation and the skills to use those powers responsibly.

We believe that the true practice of science honors God by seeking to understand Him better through His creation. Any practice that rejects God as Creator or Christ as King of Creation should be rejected in turn.

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Thank you for giving us your time and attention! May God bless you and your family.

Peace in Christ,
David & Susan Eyk
Oak River Press