Family

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Very few of God’s creatures evoke as much emotion in poem or song as the little bluebird.  And yet, the saga of the bluebird is a dramatic story of its struggle for survival.  The bluebird will not build its home on a limb of a tree, but has to have an enclosure–– a hole whittled out by a woodpecker in a tree, fence post, or the eve under a barn.   But along came super highways and shopping malls and homes became scarce.  And the bluebird almost disappeared. And that’s what prompted Mr. Jack Finch to begin building homes for his “friends.”  

Linda and I visited the “Bluebird Man” as he was affectionately referred to.  And when he discovered I was an artist and was thinking about doing a painting of them he took us for a long walk on what he called his “Bluebird Trail.” There, he hosted nearly a mile of bird boxes containing families of bluebirds.  While showing us his vast array of homes for these incredible birds, he told us stories of wisdom that he had learned from observing his tiny friends.  As we were about to leave he insisted on loading several of his “Home for Bluebirds” into our van.  Looking off across the countryside he spoke almost as if he were in prayer and said, “Yes.  I hope this nation of ours would somehow learn from our feathered friends the value of home and family.  Perhaps if we’d listen more for the wisdom of bluebirds instead of the political rhetoric coming out of Washington, there still might be some hope for America.”  

As we drove slowly out of his long driveway lined with bluebird houses, my wife said, “I believe you will paint the bluebirds, and when you do, you must name the painting, ‘Family.’”  I did.