It’s like falling off a log

Falling off a log became my idea of how we grow. That’s how I heard the minister as she explained that life is a series of Lessons that provide Opportunities that give us Gifts of knowing and growing. Falling off a LOG. And as I pondered the idea, I realized I’d been having just such an experience.

If I may offer a bird’s eye view…

The Lesson

Several years ago I hung two sturdy bird feeders from my backyard tree. They worked wonderfully. Birds feasted. I watched and adored.

Then one morning several months later I saw the lid of one feeder lying among most of the seed scattered on the ground. Squirrel(s) must be the culprit(s).

At Home Depot I bought ten large, heavy washers. I glued the washers into two pancake stacks of five washers each. I refilled the feeders and I placed one stack on top of each. Surely too heavy for the strongest of squirrels.

Birds feasted. I watched and adored.

The Opportunity

One morning a few weeks later I looked out and saw one feeder on the ground. Something–other than a squirrel?–must have swung, wobbled, or shaken the feeder off the hook that joined the feeder’s wire loop and the chain hanging from the tree.

Back at Home Depot I bought clasps to replace the hooks, clasps that no animal could detach from the chain. I assembled and rehung the newest solution.

Birds feasted. As I watched, I noticed that birds waste as much as they consume. As many seeds are pecked-and-cast-aside from the feeder as are eaten. And it was spring. The seeds on the ground invited deer–bucks and does and fawns–to dine on the seeds birds discarded. More to watch. More to adore.

The Gift

Time passed. One Saturday morning, the other feeder was on the ground. Its lid was intact thanks to the washers. The feeder’s wire loop and the final chain link were still clasped. The culprit had somehow dislodged a 12-inch S hook from the limb 10 feet up the tree. As a result, the entire project had fallen from the tree.

I didn’t rush to Home Depot. The next day, as I took a walk, I saw two adult deer having a minor tiff. I could not tell why.  It amazed me to see one deer go up on its hind legs, stand straight up in the air. That deer must have challenged the other because that other stood up on its rear legs, too. It  looked like the deer would start boxing at any minute.

However, the second deer discarded valor, dropped back to all fours and resumed feeding on acorns. Ah, that first deer stayed upright for a full minute. It pointed its head toward the lowest limbs in the oak tree. And that made me shift my guess as to the feeder-toppling culprit. Deer seemed as fond of the seed as the birds. An upstanding deer just might be able to knock the feeder down.

I knew exactly where the caribiners and shackles were at Home Depot. I bought four although I needed only two. No more S hooks. The chain is looped around the tree. No more clasps. A carabiner connects the feeder wire loop to the last chain link, presumably out of the tallest deer’s reach.

The birds are feasting. The deer are dining, too, though now on only what the birds let go. I am watching. And adoring.

Giving Thanks for Falling off a LOG

Creator of All, Presence in Everything,
thank you for allowing me to discover
and to accept to my Self
lessons that provide me opportunities to learn.
I so enjoy receiving the learning as gifts
that increase my awareness of your Presence.
The ease of learning is the wrapping around the gift.
The awareness of the joy
of falling off a log lets me cherish the interweaving
of living this human life and knowing your precious Presence.
And so it is. And so I thank you, God. Amen

Love & blessings,



12 September 2018

PS I’m sure you’ve read Portia Nelson’s poem, “There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk“, which she subtitled her “Autobiography in Five Short Chapters.” We have all experienced such learning situations. In my case, it often takes me just as many–if not more–falls in the hole before I decide to (spoiler alert) take another road.

Posted on September 12, 2018 at 6:59 am by Tim · Permalink
In: Prayer