Over a Cup of Tea
Heidi M. Pascual
Publisher & Editor
2006 Journalist of the year
for the State of Wisconsin

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                       Birds: When no COVID seems to matter
During this pandemic when none of us senior citizens can really do much else but stay at home, watch our health,
follow the latest news about COVID-19, and dream of a better tomorrow for the world, I found myself enjoying bird
watching early every morning as I sit lazily sipping coffee on my porch. I am glad that here in the barrio, there are
still so many of God’s creatures untouched by modernization and anything that scares humanity, that just by
looking at them and hearing their beautiful tweets, I feel that hope for a happy life is not far behind. Birds have
become “family” ever since COVID kept me at home in the province and so far away from my children and their
families. I wake up when I hear certain bird songs before 6 a.m., as if my kids are telling me, “Mom, it’s time to
wake up and prepare breakfast!”

So I found myself getting some bird seeds and corn grits when the Community Quarantine regulation became a
bit relaxed in my barrio. The daily bird watching has become more serious in that I am now feeding birds in my
garden. It is fun to watch Mayas lined up on the electrical cable from the street to my house, waiting
for me to
strew their food in the garden. I have learned to scatter the bird seeds and corn grits on a specific place away from my dog’s house, because my
dog barks at them whenever she sees them. It seems the feeling of jealousy isn’t exclusively for humans. I got the sense that I have to balance my
attention to both, for they both deliver joy to me though differently. It is actually another learning experience to note how animals react to one
another when they have a common friend between them. It’s flattering to feel needed while at the same time learning how to avoid favoritism in
order to maintain wholesome relationships.
Probably to take my bird-watching hobby
to the next level, I decided to get myself
two baby African lovebirds to take care of
and watch them grow. As of this writing,
they have been under my care for six
days, and I feed them with regular infant
food, with additional mashed fruits like
banana, mango, and guava.

Their wings are now developed; they
have learned how to eat from the little
spoon I use to feed them; have shown signs of both stress and
calm; and have been “kissing” each other as lovebirds are
supposed to do. I am just patiently waiting for anyone of them to
learn to fly. I don’t plan to release them in the next month or so,
thinking it is better to train them first on knowing their master and
their “home,” so they would know where to go back to in case they
fly outside the boundaries of my home and backyard.
A closer look at these birds -- those I feed every morning in the
garden, as well as the two baby birds I now take care of -- make me
realize one very important thing: birds are not affected at all by
COVID-19, nor by any pandemic humans are so scared about.
Birds simply survive with whatever nature offers them and fly where
their wings lead them. They don’t plan; they just do what God
wanted them to do. And they seem to be content on making nature
more beautiful and pleasant, and on their extraordinary role of
making people happy.

If only humans can fly, then we will be free like birds. We can move
from place to place where nature is beautiful and peaceful. If only
humans can be content with what they have, then the world will
never know the meaning of greed. If only humans love simple living,
then there will be no congestion in cities (or there will be no cities at
all, just small barrios like where I am). If only humans love one
another as God loves us, there will be no wars, just peaceful,
harmonious existence. If only humans take good care of our natural
environment, then probably there will be no pandemics. If only …
My African
birds on
electric wire;
feeding Mayas
in my yard