Okay, so we’re not talking a multimillion dollar standoff between a rare worm and an oil pipeline, or a fly and a building complex, cases in which I landed on the side of progress, but the takeover of my poolside gazebo by an eight-ounce bird that screams “phee-bee” has me in a conundrum.
At first I was delighted the Phoebes had chosen to build their nest in the rafters of our gazebo. They flitted around the spacious enclosure as though it were their very own castle. But when they started pooping on the patio chairs, I began to think less favorably about our up-close-and-personal National Geographic happening.
Still, in deference to motherhood, we let them enjoy their takeover while their babies were nesting. We avoided sitting in the gazebo for any length of time because I worried about the eggs going cold, or babies missing a meal. Finally, they took flight (a departure hastened when I tried to get a picture of them hovering on the rim of their nest).
Happy to hear them calling in the nearby trees, we moved back into the gazebo with our pool paraphernalia. The phoebes, however, knew a good thing when they had it, and they weren’t giving it up so easily. Lo and behold, a few weeks later, there they were, staking their claim once again. Annoyed with our presence, they’d fly in close or perch nearby scolding and threatening.
I admit; I am amused at the gutsy stance of these tiny keepers of the castle. And I am humored by their apparent enjoyment of their find—a spacious, roofed, open-sided dwelling on the edge of insect -rich woods.
They dwell securely, unaware that it is by my grace. And that is a reminder I would do well to contemplate. I too, dwell securely by the grace of God.
My phoebes are a living picture of the message the psalmist proclaims when he likens the birds that build nests in the Lord’s house and seek protection at His altars to the person who trusts in the lord.
Psalm 84—“Yes the sparrow has found a house and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even Your altars, O lord…happy is the man who trusts in you.’
As I, once again, move my chaise lounge out onto the deck and await the next flight.