Friday, October 9, 2015

Consider The Birds

When I began to read Matthew 6:26, "Consider the birds of the air . . ." Cava clapped his hands together and declared, "Oh yeah! That's what I'm talking about!" Why? Because he doesn't need to be told to "consider the birds of the air" because he is constantly doing so. Ever since he got here, Cava has not only noticed bird, but made sure we did as well.

One of the first English words he learned was "bird." And he used that word alot as he would point and yell, "Bird! Bird!"  As he learned more of the language, we began to teach him the names of different birds that he saw around him.  I have never seen anyone get so excited about birds as Cava does.  I love his enthusiasm for anything avian.  I love that it has not abated even the slightest since he first arrived. Instead, his interest and curiousity has only grown as he has watched documentaries on the subject, as well as read books from the library, and cherished any book he's ever been given about birds.  After reading them, he will come and tell me facts about whatever bird had caught his fancy, particularly if it's about any bird of prey.

One of  the most magical moments for him was when we helped a baby Barred owl in our backyard (

He loved Animal Kingdom because of all the birds they had there and his favorite moment was not a ride, but feeding a duck at lunchtime.

At Dollywood, once again, it was not any of the rides that he loved but seeing the birds, especially the eagles.  And the one place he wanted to visit most this summer was the Carolina Raptor Center (to read about it go to

His birthday list starts with Legos.  One might think this has nothing to do with birds, but here is the one he wants most:

The rest of the list is centered around birds as well (puzzles, posters, binoculars, guides, etcetera).

He is constantly bringing home bird feathers he's found.

His latest excitement was over the Seven-colored Tanager.  He first saw this species when I showed him a photo of it on Facebook. He saw the photo and declared it, "Amazing."  This was followed by him telling me to Google it.  His only disappointment about this bird was that it was in Brazil. "Aww, man, that's not fair," he shook his head.  

Cava is the one who puts birdseed out in our feeders and then watches to see the birds come to eat out them.  He will sit at the window with his guides and try to find out which bird it is.

We have watched every documentary on birds that are on Amazon Prime and Netflix, the most recent being The Power of Owls, which we watched as I made dinner. I must admit, I did not know that there were over 216 types of owls.

I think he would've been fast friends with the poet Emily Dickinson, who wrote in a letter, "I hope you love birds, too."  He would heartily agree and would loudly tell her, "Oh yes I do!"  In her garden or from her window, she loved to watch birds as they "came down the Walk."  She and Cava are birds of a feather, if you'll excuse the pun, and both believe that:

"Hope" is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -

Birds have definitely "perched" in his soul and his thoughts. He likes that God knows when a sparrow falls or that when we "hope in the Lord" that we "will soar on wings of eagles," though he was not as happy to find out that this verse did not mean we would literally fly like one. (As a sidenote, did you know that there are at least 55 verses in the Bible about birds?)  One of Cava's favorite bible stories is of the ravens bringing food to the prophet Elijah, though he did say, "That's kinda' gross."

A book that I want to read because of him is Debbie Blue's Consider the Birds: A Provocative Guide to Birds of the Bible in the hopes that it would give me new ways to talk about the Bible with Cava, especially since she says it provides us "with profound lessons about humanity, faith, and God's grace."

I am so glad that Cava does stop to "consider the birds of the air" because he has made me do the same. Something I might have taken for granted beore, now I am more aware of birds and, whenever I'm out and see an unusual one that he would love, I cannot help but smile and think of the delight that seeing such a bird would bring him.  For him, seeing a new bird, is like finding a new present under the Christmas tree for it is a source of joyous delight.  God has created so many wonderous birds and it is remarkable that it has taken this ten year old son of mine to truly learn this from him, because to "consider" the birds is to be present in the moment, to be still enough to notice them, to listen to their songs, and to appreciate their beauty.    

Even now, as I'm writing this, he is working on a bird puzzle and making bird sounds.  Do I have a future ornithologist on my hands? 

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