The Wisdom of the Robin
Clouds blanketed the sky with the hint of rain to come as this new day beckoned to me for a leisurely walk. As I ventured out into the morning air, a disturbance quickly caught my attention.
Two robins, perched upon a split rail fence, shouting their warning call for everyone to hear. I paused, captivated by the sound. But why all the commotion? The world seemed so peaceful and calm. Focused on their cause they disregarded my humanness and soon a spotted towhee fluttered to the fence beside them and joined the choir.
I followed their gaze to the ivy-covered hill below, and sure enough, ivy leaves were alive with movement. Something lurked deep below. In anticipation for a snake to reveal itself, I watch with bated breath. As the ruckus continued, a few moments later — much to my surprise — a long-tailed weasel popped its perfectly shaped head out above the ivy.
A sharp pointed face accented by a pink little nose. Astute ears and focused black eyes locked onto mine. Elongating her long-lean body she stretched toward the sky revealing her soft golden underbelly as if looking to see for herself what all the commotion was about. The robins and towhee remained steadfast sounding the alarm. A predator is on the prowl and we must warn all that can hear us—that was the message these birds were calling out.
Unaffected by their calls, the weasel disappeared below the ivy in a fast and harried way as the ivy leaves danced above led in movement by her long and slender body.
She’s up, then down.
She’s up, then down.
As I watched in wonderment, a sparrow settled on a rock beside me drawn in by the robins’ call. We watched in silence as the cries filled the morning air and the weasel disappeared one more time.
In a matter of moments she quickly re-surfaced showcasing the cause for the alarm. She had found the perfect meal that will feed her young back at the nest. I am stunned!
She is a stealth and mighty hunter surfacing with a meal three times her size. The birds begin to cry a different tune for their warning calls went unheard. Another in the animal kingdom has been lost in an effort to help another survive.
And so it goes throughout the animal kingdom.
With skill and determination this weasel hauls her cache 50+ yards up the road, across a driveway, under a fence and to her burrow residing below an unsuspecting neighbor’s deck or house. The dutiful birds follow her up the pavement continuing to scold her as she moves diligently along using all her effort and strength. It is a big undertaking, but like any mother she is determined that her babies will not go hungry today.
To some this might be a harsh and sad scene. But all I can think is, just like us, she too must eat. The worm the robin feeds to its young is no different than this latest meal the weasel has secured. It is all about balance. Give and take. This is survival in its purest sense.
I stand in awe of this little weasel and the skill and determination she possesses.
I am touched by the robins’ cry to help another with nothing to gain for itself.
I mourn for the loss of another.
We often see critters as separate from the other, but like all life we are ALL connected. The robins’ call this cloudy morning is a shining example of that. Like many of my experiences in nature, I walked back home in wonder and amazement. I realized just how much life (and death) is happening all around us that we are far too often unaware of.
This cycle of life should be honored and respected.
An everyday occurrence, that I happened to witness thanks to the robins’ call that made me pause and take notice, taught me the value of truly being present and in the moment. For the current moment is all we truly have at any given time!