31 Days of Paying Attention — Day Twenty-Five


I love these funny shore birds. They’re called sanderlings and they have long, skinny legs and long, skinny beaks. And they use those beaks very effectively, hovering at the edge of the water, digging deep for yummy morsels of small clam or crab. They skitter back and forth, torn between wanting food and wanting to keep their feet dry. They move quickly and are usually in groups as they work and wander. 

They don’t inhabit all of the beaches of Santa Barbara, usually keeping to the far edges of those that are heavily populated by human sun worshippers. I see them most often when I walk down the beach a ways, beyond the sun-bathers and the swimmers. Humans tend to get in the way of lots of things in God’s creation and these guys choose to play it smart. If I get too close with my phone camera, they promptly abandon their posts!

They make a lovely silhouette against a sunset sky, their long, pointy beaks and legs making a nice sharp line in the semi-dark. See what I mean?



I pay attention to birds. I don’t know much about them except that I love to watch, to look at color, shape, habits, habitat and to listen to song, call, conversation. Something about their beauty, their ease and comfort with their very bird-ness, and their ability to both blend in with and make good use of their immediate environment speaks to me of God. And of myself, too. They speak to me of God’s creative genius and appreciation for beauty and diversity. And they speak to me as a living lesson to celebrate who it is God has created me to be. 

Which of God’s creatures speak to you of such things?


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  1. I love birds, too, Diana, and for many of the same reasons you mention here. Their infinite variety is a stunning reminder of just how vast and glorious God’s creation is.

  2. Margie Bicknell says

    We have 3 resident bald eagle pairs living along Lake Sammamish. It is wonderful to see them sitting in the tree tops, watching for the Coho salmon surface, then dive for the catch. During this fall season, as the leaves fall, the view from the road becomes easier to see. And I say, ‘ Good Morning to the eagles, and Thank You, Lord’ for the beautiful sight.