I was in the backyard today, cleaning off our patio table and chairs, when I heard a tapping sound.  I looked around, but couldn’t find it.  I figured it was probably one of our many squirrels in the yard, trying to break open an acorn, so I went back to my cleanup.

The sound started again, and this time I looked up into the old, broad oak tree that dominates most of our yard.  There it was – a woodpecker, the red crest on its head and the familiar black and white spotted feathers.  We have had woodpeckers out in our front yard, particularly on the telephone pole, rapping away off and on for years, but I’ve never seen one in our backyard.

So I figured this was a special moment – a message for me.  I watched as he persisted in pecking away at the branch, and occasionally pausing to swallow an insect he managed to uncover.  I wondered at his design, how he was made for such repeated banging of his head and rattling of his neck.  Made my own neck feel much better – what did I have to complain about?

What does the woodpecker say to me today?  Is it to stop banging my head for little reward?  No – this little woodpecker seemed quite content, even happy, to be doing what he is doing.  It is his nature to find his food this way.  So why would it seem like banging himself?

Am I resisting what it is that I need to do?  Perhaps I can embrace how it is, and rather than look at it as work, just appreciate that I’m designed to be able to meet the challenges in my life… and also that it can be fun.  Or at least pleasing to find those morsels!  I can trust that I’ll get what I need.

Is it that I should keep persisting, to not give up, even if the wood it tough and it’s not so easy to reach my goal?  Just like my daughter when she blows up and says she can’t do her homework, I know that she and I can trust a little more and persist a little more.  To know that we both have what we need within us to get the job done, or to make it to the other side of this mountain of emotions.

I’m going to sit with this some more… what are your ideas?  What does the woodpecker say to you?


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