I realize they're not really my creatures, but I'm attached to them with that delicate strand of humanity that forces me out in that rain clad in a thin shirt to spread the afternoon manna before the waiting crowd. And they do wait, dozens to tiny birds strung like jewels along the fence, doves hunkered in the trees above, and squirrels lining the edge of my studio roof.
"Crowd" is appropriate - at one such feeding my wife Jan counted over 30 dove in the mix, with squirrels and dozens of sparrows, finches and juncos oblivious to each other. But it's mid-November and getting colder. I'm beginning to worry about the survival of my creatures, despite knowing that each is equipped to survive. I tend to surprise myself with the amount of concern I have for these tiny beings, actually God's creatures, not mine. God takes care of them better than I - all I can really do is help out by feeding them.