Make Your Own Pocket Eden

220px__lesser_goldfinch_1I’ve written a lot of delirious prose about my experiences in Africa, and in my new home where the back yard is a national forest. If I could, I would take everyone to these gorgeous places that restore my spirit. It frustrates me that I can’t. Recently, however, I’ve found a spot as wondrous and magical as any safari I’ve ever taken—and this one you can replicate, if you want. I highly recommend it.

Here’s what I did: I put a bird feeder and a little fountain outside my bedroom window. I face that window when I meditate. While I’m supposed to be watching Nothing, I sometimes realize that I’ve become enthralled by the miniature ecosystem outside.

I especially love a family of tiny Lesser Goldfinches who couldn’t care less about an ordinary birdbath, but love to bathe in running water. I am not kidding; these little yellow puffballs love bathing like drug abusers love crack. They shiver with joy, lowering themselves into the water and fluffing their feathers with pleasure so obvious it would get them arrested in some states (not California). Each time I see this, it makes me deeply, absurdly happy.

I’m going on about this because I’m pretty sure you could make this experience, or something like it, happen for yourself.  If there’s even the tiniest space—a window ledge, a planter box—where you could invite nature in, do it. Then sit still long enough to see wild things discover and enjoy what you’ve offered them.

I could quote studies showing that this will do fantastic things for your physical and mental health. But I’d rather just have you go look outside, maybe scatter some birdseed, and let the wild things come and tell you themselves. 

P.S.— Watch my home video of the tiny goldfinches frolicking in the bath above. Then, click on the picture below to see how my oneness with the tiny birds manifested the first-ever appearance of an eagle (captured by a nature camera on a different part of my ranch).

10 replies
  1. Sonya Solomonovich
    Sonya Solomonovich says:

    This is so awesome! I just love observing animals, or as a friend of mine would say “creeping on animals.” Thanks very much for sharing, Martha! I’ve actually started growing plants because of your influence.

    Who knows, maybe I could manage to attract wild birds and animals as well.

  2. It's Finally Done!
    It's Finally Done! says:

    You remind me of my mom 🙂 She loves birdwatching, birdhouses, birdbaths, etc. So does my wife – we recently moved to a new state and she treated herself to a book on the native birds here. She also bought a birdbath for our backyard and excitedly points to it whenever birds come and take a bath. It’s not really my thing, but it makes me happy to see the happiness they get from this.

  3. Kate
    Kate says:

    Wow! That was an amazing video! That eagle was GINORMOUS!!! Thanks for sharing.

    Didn’t see a video of the little guys where was that?

  4. Vicki
    Vicki says:

    Martha said her new home is located on the edge of a national forest…I hope not too many people have homes on this edge because this traffic may very well hurt our natural resources.

  5. Sallly
    Sallly says:

    My tiny front yard was planted as a wild garden by the previous owner and I’m pretty sure is the despair of all my very tidy neighbors. From my standpoint, it is the only sunny area on my property, and I long for a vegetable garden. But, every time I think about taming the wild, I see a herd of bumblebees browsing like tiny cows, or goldfinches perched like giant bumblebees on the many Echinacea seedheads, or a flock of varied feathery citizens waiting for a turn at the bath, and I decide anew to continue raising tomatoes in pots on the driveway. Who, after all, wants to be the angel with a fiery sword evicting the tenants of Paradise? Not me.

  6. Marsha
    Marsha says:

    LOVE IT MARTHA! I’d be happy to be a birdie in your own Garden of Eden anytime! Thank you for the smiles & your daily inspirations + more. I have SO much work to do on myself at this ripe old age of 57. Sending love & light to you & all your FANS. – Marsha

  7. Linda Mayer
    Linda Mayer says:

    I love the video of all the animals taking a bath! While taking the course with Jessica &Michael about finding a sitspot in nature, I discovered a quiet place in a park with a waterfall. I want to duplicate that as close as I can in my yard with a fountain, bird feeders, water for my deer friends, etc.

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