She hops across the slab of concrete, instead of soaring gracefully in the wind, and it is clear that she has been wounded. Tiny pea-dove that she is, her injury makes her more vulnerable, but breakfast is an essential meal and so she steps gingerly toward the garden in a bid to find something in the loose soil to stave off hunger.
They say that the early bird catches the worm, and it would appear that she knows this instinctively, because she is out at the crack of dawn. But so are others.
She is being watched from a distance.
Atop the concrete utility pole – approximately thirty feet above the ground – there stands another in search of a meal. His carnivorous palette desires no insects when there is easy prey in sight. He cocks his head to one side and assesses my position. It is clear that he intends to acquire breakfast and will brook no interference, so I resolve to stand aside.
The injured pea-dove pecks away at the soil and it is clear that she is oblivious to everything on the periphery. The hawk makes no sound, gives no warning, and she has no way of knowing that danger is imminent. He swoops, swift and sure, and the ‘swoosh’ of his descent can hardly be considered a warning because the strike of his talons is almost simultaneous.
There is no struggle, and his well-timed U-turn is flawless. Equal parts graceful and terrifying, he soars.
His breakfast has been secured and I am left to my thoughts.
There is a cannibalistic ‘dog-eat-dog’ mentality that has made inroads within the human sphere and it plays out in much the same way. To strike when the other is down is to guarantee victory, but that is the uncivilised nature of wildlife. Why should it be found among us?
We were created to be social beings. – team players, not competitors. There is enough space on this planet for everyone to shine, so there is absolutely no need for us to rip into each other and descend into the quagmire of ‘one-up-manship’. We are called to a higher purpose:
“Higher than the highest human thought can reach is God’s ideal for His children. Godliness – godlikeness – is the goal to be reached.” (Education, page 18)
And the godly life is an inherently other-focused, service-oriented life.
The alternative is ‘for the birds’.
Take the high road. Stoop only to uplift another. The higher road leads Home.
Image source: skeeze on Pixabay