I've found immense joy in noticing some of the animals that live in close proximity to me; the pair of bluejays that frequent the tall pines in the back yard; the mourning dove that perches at its regular spot on the eve of the garage roof; the chipmunk who lives in the drainpipe whom we can often hear rattling around in there as Erin and I eat our dinner...my life is enriched by these wild neighbors who live nearby each and every day.
There is one in particular whom, for some reason or another, I feel I have a special appreciation for.
This is the male American robin whom I've taken to calling "Spot." As an individual he is easy to identify since he has a white spot in his plumage behind his right eye; this unique characteristic is very noticeable in the photo above.
Spot migrates elsewhere during the winter months but from April to September he is reliably encountered on the front lawns of the three houses just down the street from mine. I've lived in Wellsboro, PA for four years and Spot has been present for all four of them.
Spot and I are fellow sojourners in this life; each of us praising God our creator by allowing our authentic selves to find expression in our lives; a natural task for most animals (certainly for Spot!), but a lengthy process of self-discovery for most of us humans.
Spot is one of those animals who I see every day. When I'm walking across town usually to or from the church building I often see him perched on the branch of a tree, hopping or swiftly walking across the grass in search of worms, or zipping past me in flight.
I sense the Spirit of God speaking into my heart through my experiences with Spot; he is a reminder for me to be my authentic self; a daily reminder to me to allow the person whom God made me to be to shine forth each day; in my love for God, for others, and for all that has life, and in the ways I enjoy life with those around me.
I hope we all have a "Spot" in our lives to help us value our wild neighbors and to remind us to be our authentic selves as God has made us.
Thank you, Spot.