Our owl returned a few evenings ago. I say it is our owl. It looks the same, sounds the same, and is the same size. And it always returns to the same tree in our backyard, even though trees are numerous in our neighborhood. If it is our owl, then we also have a woodpecker, and several squirrels. Not that they are ours in a pet sense. They do not spend all their time here, with the possible exception of the squirrels. The squirrels are territorial and have our dog, Misty, to hassle.

Although we feed the squirrels inadvertently on occasion, we would not know how to feed the owl and the woodpecker, even if we wanted to or could. The woodpecker could fit in my hand (though I imagine it might be a bit painful), and is usually so high in the tree that we only know he’s there by the sound of his pecking on a branch. For a tiny bird, he, or she, is amazingly loud. She begins a little later in the morning and can be heard periodically through the day.

The owl, on the other hand – as you would expect – only visits at night. I have always wondered what owls do during the daytime. Be that as it may, it is comforting to walk out in the backyard at night to get some air and see him, a shadow against the night sky. Then he begins to expound his bird-ly wisdom, or at least his thoughts at the time.

While the owl and the woodpecker are not our pets in the traditional sense, they do seem to stop by to say “hi” occasionally. Which I think is not only an act of nature, but a subtle sign from God. It has been a particularly difficult time for us. As I have stated before, we have three teenage boys and problems can multiply in an instant. It’s frustrating not being able to post because nothing positive seems to be happening.

So when I went out in the backyard a few nights ago, I was greeted and comforted by the owl hooting overhead. He was on a branch lower than any branches he had perched on previously, not very far overhead. It was as if he was telling me that everything was okay and God was with me. It was the same feeling I get when I am greeted in the morning by the pecking of the woodpecker. And after all, who knows how God speaks to, or contacts, each one of us. So why not through an owl and a woodpecker?

Peace be with you.

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