THE BEAKING CHICKADE (Musing of Fr Tim Etsenamhe)

THE BEAKING CHICKADE (Musing of Fr Tim Etsenamhe)

I live and work in a beautiful and serene village walled by mountains and rocks.
The rectory on the plain of a hill that affords me the luxury of a panoramic view of the village.
Natural companions abound- insects, reptiles of your thought, birds, and domestic goats.
You would really see and feel nature – the night breeze perforating the blinds chirping of birds blending with whirling wind form harmonious sounds that set you musing.

The pain of 2020 with its effect of withdrawal drew my attention to a particular bird- CHICKADEE.
Obviously the breed that dominates and operates in this territory.
It appears to be the biggest from my prolonged period of observation among its peers.
Beautiful flapping fans painted in black and white the best of colours I love to combine with a lovely averagely long dark pecking beak with thin lingering legs.

First I noticed the bird perch and peck on one of the louvres of the window.
I thought it was feasting on some insects that take shelter in the pores of the net.
One early rainy morning the bird came to disturb my meditation and this set me thinking.
Then I had the eureka experience- the bird was fighting its shadow- defending his territorial sovereignty against external intrusion and an envisaged shift of power and dominance only to be waring itself.

Like this Chickadee, like humans! Often too worried, too stressed over fugacious blossoms that beget unhealthy rivalry and self-rioting.
Like the story of a woman who opened a rickety provision kiosk in her neighborhood.
The subsequent year another woman came to set up a new petty grocery store.
The ‘war of the women’ was so fierce that the SMEs died of backbiting and beaking.

The fear of losing positions, privileges and prestige has made many unwelcoming of others.
Ideological hashtags like ‘Brexit’, ‘Make America Great Again’ and many more geared to shred our shared humanity. Hashtags that are selfish only seek to strangle the neck of those perceived to be outsiders- the ‘other ones’! They often do not breathe well only for being the ‘other ones.’
The ‘I- can’t- breathe- experience is a common phenomenon in almost all the facets of our lives today.

To have my peace I had to blind the windows from reflection.
The bird didn’t have to see itself in the imagination of another.
It didn’t come back again and so long the window is blinded never will it be back beaking.
Free! Free from fighting itself! And now it flaps around freely with no anxiety of having to contend with Another for ephemerals. We can be each free too! If only we would halt beaking on ‘others’.


Fr. Daniel Evbotokhai is a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Auchi, Edo State, Nigeria. He was ordained October 20th, 2018. He offers his daily homilies, talks and articles that bother on, faith, theology, morals and many other burning issues in religion and politics. Fr. Daniel writes poems, inspirational quotes and clips.

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