They're there every morning—chickadees, titmice, cardinals, doves—hunched on scattered perches near the door close to the suspended seed feeders, feathers fluffed against the cold, waiting for me to come and toss out a few breakfast scoops of cracked corn.
Mindful of their patience as well as their need, I take my benefactor role seriously. It is, after all, quite possibly the responsibility of life or death. And yet no one seems upset when I'm a bit tardy, as if their waiting doesn't matter—as if they know I'll come sooner or later, in time, to supply their needs.
Is this an act of faith or resignation? A stoic example of casting one's fate to chance, or some rudimentary belief that providence in the form of that scruffy fellow who fed them yesterday will do the same today?
I don't know. I only know they're always there, waiting…