Home Opinion Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Bluebird of Hope

Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Bluebird of Hope


WHAT IF the Almighty doesn’t always communicate with us in thunderous booms from a towering cloud? Or in a deep voice from a burning bush?

What if the Almighty speaks to us in a honeysuckle whisper on a breeze, or in unquenchable hope held in the breast of a bluebird?

I apologize to both of my regular readers for making such a big deal of the bluebirds on my patio. Just one more observation, then I’ll let the topic drop.

My bluebird house was several years old this spring and it was ugly. At one time I had painted it a horrible pumpkin color. The hole had been gnawed larger by some fidgity squirrel. There was even a piece of sharp white plastic impaled in the top of the box by the Mother’s Day Tornado of 2015.

Last summer I had two bluebird batches in that house. Both ended tragically.

This spring the bluebirds were back. They were very skittish. I’d drink coffee in the morning, and watch them dive in from the nearby highline. They’d perch briefly on a limb near the box, then disappear into the jagged hole. If I lifted my cup, zoom, they were gone.

For a couple of weeks I watched them, thinking that soon I’d hear the cheeping of babies.

But an odd thing happened. Mom and Dad continued to swoop in at the box. I could see a worm or bug dinner clenched in their beaks. Yet I never heard the cheeps. Most times they wouldn’t even take the bug inside. This went on for awhile.

Then, they stopped coming. I resisted looking into the bluebird box for a week or so.

Finally I looked. There were two tiny blue eggs that should’ve hatched by now.

The adults were absent for several more days. Then they came back. They resumed bringing food to the opening. But there were no chicks, no cheeping. Only two tiny lonesome blue eggs.

I marveled at Mom’s determination to feed chicks. Her instinct must have been willing her on. She responded by bringing more and more food to the lifeless house; then flying away without entering.

I could sense puzzlement and maybe heartbreak.

Finally I took down the bluebird box and replaced it with another. It wasn’t painted, and the hole was juuuuust the right size for a bluebird. Maybe my luck — and theirs — would change.

I wondered what would happen.

In less than a day I got my answer. It was a message from the breast of a bluebird.

She flew in with pieces of straw clenched in her beak. She’d dart inside the box to work — I’m guessing — on a swell new nest. Then out quickly. She’d zip up to the highline and catch her breath for a moment; then she was off again for more straw.

She is building a new nest as part of the Almighty’s design, I’m sure. And maybe she’ll be rewarded with chicks.

This is not to say that Dad has abandoned Mom. When she brings straw to the bluebird box, I see him watching closely from the highline. I know that if I walk over near the new bluebird box he’ll swoop down to scare me away.

I wouldn’t dare mess with that bluebird box now because, inside, there is a whispered message from the Almighty. And it is Hope.

This is what it will sound like: “Cheep, cheep.”

I can hardly wait. That’s called Faith.

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BASEBALL STAR. Anyone besides me struck by the revelation that a Scrapper named Pope got a scholarship to play baseball for a Catholic college?

I looked it up. The colors of the Benedictine College Ravens are red and black. They apparently have a proud baseball tradition. The school is in Atchison, Kan.

And now there is a Pope in the lineup.

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MY CONGRATULATIONS to Scrappers and Scrapperettes on their splendid baseball/softball seasons! Great job, coaches!

You made your hometown proud.

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THE TWINS. Hit or Miss. One was a terrible hunter; the other was durn good.

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THINGS I LEARNED from opening email: The sooner you fall behind, the more time you’ll have to catch up.

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HE SAID: “As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” Henry David Thoreau, American philosopher and poet

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SHE SAID: “My coming to faith did not start with a leap but rather a series of staggers from what seemed like one safe place to another. Like lily pads, round and green, these places summoned and then held me up while I grew. Each prepared me for the next leaf on which I would land, and in this way I moved across the swamp of doubt and fear.” Anne Lamott, American novelist

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