Distractions and the woodpeckers..!


THE best part of my day, I believe, are my mornings, when after my one hour mandatory walk, I sit with a jug of freshly brewed coffee, my newspaper, a good book, my Bible and spend time enjoying a bit of each, even as I imbibe the sights and sounds in my little garden. Before sitting down to my rather enticing spread however, what I do daily is scatter some bread crumbs in front of me and watch from the corner of my eye, my little friends, the squirrels, birds and bold crows enjoy the breakfast I offer them.
Today a strange pair descended on my daily offerings: I looked closely at their striking plumage and found they were a woodpecker couple. As they ate the breadcrumbs they happily chirped away with each other and I mischievously decided to imitate their sounds.
Mrs Woodpecker did not look up, but her quickly distracted husband did. He cocked his head to a side and searched for the woodpecker cry he’d heard. I continued and even as his wife pecked away undisturbed, he hopped away from the food, and seemed to be searching all over for the sound. I wondered what he heard in my cry? Was it a mating call? A younger pretty woodpecker calling out to him? Or was it his male friends calling him out for a ‘boy’s morning out’?
I went back to my coffee, he to his wife and food, but both had disappeared. The food over and she to her home, and in my imagination, I see him stomping home, hungry and angry, “I’m hungry!” he cries. “Blame yourself!” says his missus, “Saw you getting distracted at breakfast time! And no don’t take it away from your little son!” she shouts as she whacks him with a wing, to prevent him stealing his son’s breadcrumb she had brought back.
“You can’t hit your husband like that!” he cries trying to hit her back. And suddenly in that little woodpecker nest chaos reigns as feathers fly. It was a small distraction that caused chaos in a harmonious nest. And it’s these same initially tiny distractions that cause our lives to change course.
I know, when I write my column daily, I have to shut out every other sound or thought that comes to my mind, to stay on course or my column will meander this way and that like the Yangtze river in China. So too with your jobs, assignments, relationships, and anything you do.
With a bellyful of my garden crumbs Mrs Woodpecker went home to feed her little ones, and most probably do her other duties, unwavering in her purpose, undisturbed by my wooing cries. I went back to my coffee, just as distractions go away after leaving you in a state of chaos! Are you like the missus, or like her ‘looking for distractions’ hubby?