Lesson from Bubba Birdhouse

Many years ago, when I was very young, my daddy knew how I loved birds, so he built me a birdhouse. It was a two story house for the purple martins, but they never came. I put the house in the backyard by the willow tree where the brown bats would hang late in the evening. The blue jays came and lived in the house. Then I moved. I took my birdhouse with me and put in on the trellis next to the grapevines, but still no purple martins came. A family of wrens occupied the house for several generations. Wasps occupied it, too. Then about two years ago a storm blue my beloved white birdhouse off its perch and broke the top story beyond repair. The wood was old, rotten, but I couldn’t part with my birdhouse. My daddy had built it for me because I liked birds. So, I did what any country girl would do. I downsized. That’s right. I ditched the damaged top story, put a new roof on it, painted it mustard brown, made a tin satelite and mounted it right next to the toy mailbox (Barbie didn’t need it anymore). Then I took black paint and made a sign that read, “Home of Bubba Bird.” Ironcially, a chickadee took up residence and hence Bubba became a real bird. The one-story purple martin house was now a trailer, a mobile home.

Well, I came home from work one day this past spring and there was Bubba Bird’s house. Broken and on the ground. The nest spilled out and scattered. No bird would ever live in that house again. So I piled the broken remnants beside my outbuilding, thinking that the house had finally seen its last days. But not so. Today I was looking for a piece of barn wood to paint on, to make a plaque to sell. I saw Bubba’s house and picked it up. Then I realized that the back wall was in perfect condition. I could paint on it, but alas, I could not sell it. The birdhouse that my dad made me so long ago is now a sign hanging on the porch which reads, “Come sit on my porch.” It was once a safe haven for jays, wasps and wrens. Now, it is a sign to beckon all the peace-loving souls who wander my way to sit and rest for a spell.

I have learned a lesson from the birdhouse. In a way we are like that birdhouse. No matter how damaged, how broken, we become in life, in the hands of a master artist, we will still have purpose. We will still be useful. Failure isn’t final and our lives are not over until they’re over. We shouldn’t let anyone judge us or count us out, and it looks like the birdhouse will go on being useful as a new creation for many years to come.

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