I was looking out back the other day and an interesting thought came to my awareness. One of the things we have liked about our backyard is the fact that it seems to be teeming with animals. Lizards that look at you and play peek-a-boo and then puff up showing their splendid color. Frogs that croak at night and sometimes find themselves trying to get out of the pool and need a rescue. Mostly we love the birds that have found sanctuary in various places including lifetime committed doves that nested on the porch eaves. More recently we enjoyed the video observation of an owl and its mate bringing to life two baby owls and a couple of finches that gave birth to 5 eggs. To see them flutter in and out of the nest taking turns caring of one another was more entertaining than you can imagine, or maybe it’s just because we have approached 50 and it’s what you do. Dragonflies love the pool, squirrels enjoy the oaks and an early morning jog across the roof top. And I think there’s an opossum or two that call us home as well but I don’t stay up late much anymore. Each critter represents a bit of joy and excitement in life and each one also reveals a bit of God’s joy, creativity, and wonder. Such a joy to be amongst His creation. Until the falcons moved in.

High in the tress on the other side of the fence are a pair of falcons. Recent newbies to the neighborhood and an interesting and sad thing has happened. The little creatures are gone or staying under cover because these are predatory birds. They don’t let other things enjoy the same space as them and they certainly don’t let other animals be dominant. They are dominant. And there’s really nothing we can do about them. They are protected and they terrorize my joy. We haven’t seen a lizard, a frog, a small bird in weeks. We found an abandoned finch nest with 5 untended eggs representing joy never birthed. We doubt the owl babies made it through their teenage “days”. Never again seen once they left the house.

That day it hit me that life can be that way. The potential for joy is all around us and maybe there was joy in your life at one time but then something oppressive and territorial moved in. Maybe it was trauma or maybe anger or fear has nested in your yard. As long as those things dominate your life there is not room for joy or wonder because they won’t share their space with more whimsical fascinating joyful things. They are heavy and they demand attention. I often see the falcons perched on top of my tree, the highest point, just looking for what they can kill in my life. One less lizard one less bird.

I’m mostly troubled by those 5 eggs that never got fertilized because of fear. What would they have become, what joy would those ideas, those lives, those creations have brought to people if their development had not been stopped. Now they are simply empty shells in an abandoned nest.

The falcons are protected but your issue is not and it can be dealt with. It can be removed or reduced so that joy can flourish again. Not dealing with it guarantees it will give birth and continues to dominate your backyard, your life. Slowly, daily, removing life, removing Joy.

So what are the falcons in your life? What has moved in? What needs to be eradicated? What joy has not been allowed to hatch? I would encourage you to find a good counselor to help you deal with those things in life.

Find the joy. Because living with falcons is for the birds.

– Jody