This is the first spring
that I’ve continued to put out birdseed.
In the past,
I stop when grass and trees green.
But this year
I decided to continue to spread birdseed
under the Hackberry all summer.
The birds who eat from the feeders
seem to have flown on—
except a Chickadee or two.
But the sparrows and black birds—
Red-Winged Blackbirds, Cowbirds —and Mourning Dove
and the Red-Bellied Woodpecker and Cardinals and Bluejay
come morning and evening to find the seed strewn
under the tree.
Mockingbird comes to the water bath.
I enjoy their company
all day as well
as they fly from tree to tree
or sit singing.
We’ve been hearing a high whistle,
as some birds call each other from tree to tree.
Now I think it’s one variety of cowbird.
Sometimes the birdsong is so loud,
it distracts human conversation;
all we can do is smile and listen.
And on Earth Day
as we gathered on the front porch
next to the expansive branches
of the Hackberry
to pray the prayers of our Earth Day liturgy,
the many birds were present
and in full song.
Our friend Elizabeth had to lift her voice
to be heard alongside the birdsong.
As Barnswallows dipped and dived
and sailed above,
it seemed that birds and humans
joined
in celebrating life on Earth.

Earth Day 2012 Blessing Litany
adapted by Elizabeth Box Price for the prairie, from Chinook Blessing Litany, Whidbey Institute, Whidbey Island, WA.

Leader:  We call upon the earth, our planet home, with its beautiful depths and soaring heights, its vitality and abundance of life, and together we ask that it:
All:  Teach us, and show us the way.

Leader:  We call upon the prairie, the tall grass, the fields of wheat, the subtle rises and meandering creeks, and we ask that they
All:  Teach us, and show us the way.

Leader:  We call upon the land that grows our food, the nurturing soil, the fertile fields, the gardens and orchards, and we ask that they
All:  Teach us, and show us the way.
Leader:  We call upon the trees clustered along creekss and sprinkled over the fields, providing shade and shelter; the Cottonwood, the Bois d’Arc, the Hackberry, the Sand Plum.
All:  Teach us, and show us the way.

Leader:  We call upon the creatures of the prairie, the coyotes and deer, the black snake and red-tailed hawk, the wild turkey and prairie chicken, the buffalo, the cattle and scissor-tailed fly catcher.
All:  Teach us, and show us the way.

Leader:  We call upon the moon and the stars and the sun, who govern the rhythms and seasons of our lives and remind us that we are part of a great and wondrous universe, and we ask them to
All:  Teach us, and show us the way.

Leader:  We call upon all those who have lived on this earth, our ancestors and our friends, who dreamed the best for future generations, and upon whose lives our lives are built, and with thanksgiving, we call upon them to
All:  Teach us, and show us the way.

Leader:  And lastly, we call upon all that we hold most sacred, the presence and power of the Great Spirit of love and truth which flows through all the universe… to be with us  to
All:  Teach us, and show us the way.