by Cathy Lawton
One Christmas all our young grandchildren came to visit. We enjoyed playing in the snow, baking cookies, sledding down the hill, watching the backyard birds and making pinecone suet feeders for them. And we painted watercolor pictures of nature scenes. People in the neighborhood put lights on their houses and trees. I began to wonder: What do the birds think of all the lights and activities of Christmas season? This story in verse (and the illustrations) came to me. I published it in a book. It tells about Christmas from the perspective of a backyard bird—a story of hope and joy. Here are excerpts:
• • • • •
What Is Coming to Our World?
How a Backyard Bird Sees Christmas
For a while we will not have
warm soil and wiggly worms,
bright and colorful garden flowers,
plenty of insects on leaf and wing,
sun shining high across the sky,
and many things that make us sing.
Days get shorter. Air grows colder.
I search harder and farther
for a meal and a warm place to sleep.
The hawk and the fox are hunting too,
so I will hide under a bush.
The chill air tells me
high on mountain peaks
snowflakes are drifting
in piles white and deep.
In this place that is my home
soon will come
sparkling frost and falling snow.
Bells are ringing, I hear singing.
Good aromas are increasing.
What story does the music tell?
Though nippy days turn noses pink,
something good is coming, I think.
When the people open their doors
I smell something warm and spicy.
They fill our birdbath with fresh water,
and the seeds they bring are nice.
Nights are cold, but lights are bright
and they twinkle everywhere.
It looks like stars decided to alight
on trees and houses from the air.
It looks to me—far and near—
like something Good is coming here!
Though parts of nature are asleep,
other parts keep watch together—
plants and stars, people and creatures.
Expectancy fills the air,
as if we are waiting for something.
Children come out in the snow to play,
all rosy and dressed for a winter day.
They gather greenery, seedpods, and cones—
(much as we do when we build our homes).
I wonder what they are going to make?
A bright-eyed girl and boy look my way.
I start to fly… then I hear the girl say,
“Hello, little bird. Here’s a present for you.
Do you know tomorrow is Christmas Day?”
The boy says, “Merry Christmas to you
and your friends, too!”
I like the peanut butter and seeds they pressed
into the pinecones they hang from a branch.
Now I’ll fly to the highest tree
and sing a song of light shining in darkness,
making me feel warm in the cold.
I’ll sing of a future where newness unfolds,
of seeds waiting patiently within the earth,
holding hope for us all—even little birds.
I’ll make my song with God—who lives!
I’ll wing my flight with God—who lifts!
I’ll listen to the glorious sounds,
for Heaven’s love is all around.
Christmas has come!
Words and Illustrations (photos of pages) excerpted from Something Is Coming To Our World: How a Backyard Bird Sees Christmas (Cladach Publishing, copyright 2021).
In January we celebrate Epiphany and the coming of the Magi to visit Jesus. Like them, many of us feel we are on a long journey following a star that is sometimes bright and shining, sometimes completely hidden yet still guiding us towards Christ. 2022 taught us important lessons that will shape the coming year. We sense God wants to do something new in our lives and we want to follow in the right direction.
Join Lilly Lewin and Christine Sine online Saturday, January 7th 2023 from 9:30 am PT to 12:30pm PT as they help us reflect on the past year and take time to hope, dream and pray for the year ahead. We will engage in some fun practices like chalking the door and interact with each other in ways that strengthen our faith and draw us closer to God.
Click here to register! We are once again offering several price points to aid those who are students or in economic hardship.