I call the desert home.
And similarly to after dinner dessert, that is sweet and satisfying, the desert I live in has many treasures.
I was recently asked — compared to other places I’ve lived — what is my favorite characteristic specific to Arizona?
It took a moment and then I knew without a doubt it is the unique desert sounds, specifically the birds.
The occasional cawing of Hawk circling high in the sky, the clucking of the Quail as they inspect the brush for tidbits, the late night hooting of the Owl keenly on watch, and my favorite, far and away… the soul soothing cooing of the Desert Dove.
However, one of the great survival skills of these feathered creatures is their ability to be invisible. Weeks can go by without caching a glimpse, yet their songs mysteriously resonate day after day.
Several years ago I was visiting the home of a local animal rescue angel, and as I looked out her kitchen window, I was in awe of something I’d never seen before; a mass of a dozen delicate goldfinches clinging to a feeder gently swinging under her awning.
She registered my amazement and told me the kind of feeder, food and mostly… the patience I should have to attract them.
They will come, she assured, but it may take a while for them to show up. Anywhere from 2–6 weeks.
Admittedly, I hung my feeder with a touch of defiance, partly knowing that no such birds could exist near me. I’ve lived in the desert half my life and I had never seen such an exquisite display of color and elegance in my neighborhood!
A few weeks later I saw a flash of color and lo-and-behold within a few weeks I had several visits. Within a month the tree outside my window was filled with these delicate creatures.
Even more amazing is that as the months went by I started noticing their smartly camouflaged feathers throughout the property. They were ever at home and likely wondering, what my hubbub was.
Truly, they hadn’t just shown up when I put the feeder out. They’d always been there thriving on the natural surroundings. It wasn’t until my eye was trained to appreciate them that they appeared for me.
This got me thinking about how many life enhancing gems already surround us, but we simply aren’t open to receiving?
Try this — in the spirit of our goldfinch friends — focus on the color yellow, or any color that makes you happy. Spend a couple of days noticing this hue. You may of not seen how much of it is around you until you practice this awareness, but you WILL be amazed once you get started.
The same can be true in the reverse. What is a color you don’t particularly care for? Notice it, and if it surrounds you, remove it! These subconscious cues have a way of dampening your spirit without your even knowing it.
You can expand this practice of noticing colors into paying attention to words, phrases, attitudes and even gestures that make you happy. Smiles for example.
Wear the colors you love, share words of kindness you hope to hear and pass along the smiles you hope to receive. And like the desert goldfinches, watch these hidden gems come to life and expand the joy all around you…
I can’t wait to hear what your miracles in hiding are…
Please comment below and let me know so we can spread the love together.
p.s. If you want to check out the bird feeder and food that I love and use, HERE is a handy link. They make amazing gifts for self and others and I’ve included my review and details for your reference.