An Item For The Inventory

  I read a poem this morning by Wendell Berry, a writer who has, for months now, had me under his spell.

              “I keep an inventory of wonders.”

              Such would be admirable work for us all and reminds me of a phrase I have shared previously from Eugene Peterson, one which describes the mindset and perspective of the truly alive — “adorational attentiveness.”

              Among a recent addition to my own inventory of wonders is a small bird that has become a full-time overnight guest just outside my front door. A few months ago, I noticed a curious something hanging down from a roll-up awning on one end of my porch. It looked like a piece of string, maybe threading from the awning, just a couple of inches long. When I moved closer to see what it was, a small, very startled bird fluttered away (and scared a rather large human in the process). I doubted that the creature, a Carolina wren, would ever return but, when I looked the next evening, he was back. The bird flies to the tube-like end of the rolled up awning, tucks his small body in so as to get out of harm’s way, and leaves only  tail feathers as evidence of his presence there.

              Every night, the bird returns. How he found that small haven is a mystery, a wonder, to me, but he is welcome company and, as long as he keeps returning, the awning, not so long ago on a list of old, run down things to throw away, stays put and rolled up tight.