It is amazing to me how tame wild birds become. Cardinals always follow me to the back pasture to feed the horses; they are waiting rather impatiently for the crumbs and left overs of the feeding process. They fuss and chatter, always wanting their free meal "right now." They love the bird baths, the feeders, and the bird houses, and sing of their joy and appreciation constantly.
Waterfowl love our pond, and at nearly any time you can find one or two feeding there if you quietly approach.
It would take too long in this piece to name all the species that make the ranch home, in fact I have no idea how many there are. I do know there are rare birds here. That is why Soldiers Heart is such a great "birding place," and a place to listen to the bird's message that God still loves all who call this planet home. His assurance of a perfect plan in place to restore a peace that no one will disturb again is at work here, and one day, we will war no more. Young men and women will not be needed, nor will 50 year old men and women be needed, to bear the burdens of war. Innocent lives will never again be taken in the confusion of battle, because those tyrants who bring war to the world will separated out from the rest of us, and confined for eternity where they can cause conflict no more.
Soldiers who come here often find it difficult at first to "be still." There are aspects of war that wound the soul, numb the heart, and cause the mind to doubt God is still on the throne, but He is. So many Warriors are very young, warriors are at their best concerning the skills needed to engage and defeat the enemy, when they are young, strong, and fearless. What 18 year old doesn't view himself as 10 foot tall and bullet proof? A tour overseas can reverse all of that for a Soldier, and in fact inflict wounds of all kinds, sometimes wounds that cannot be seen with the human eye. My husband and I have worked with young men and women suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, not in a formal way, not because it is an appointed job by the military, but because Soldiers we sometimes do not even know reach out, it is more like cry out... We do not have the answers to the unseen videos replaying in their mind's eye, but tender words of gratitude from a nation, assurance that we know and understand the horrors they have seen, and most importantly, referring them to professionals. The Military really does have tremendous resources for Service Members if they just know how to reach them, or when they can't themselves, have those who love them and help them to access these resources.
We know also that some one's son, daughter, husband, wife, brother, sister, father, mother... has to stand in the gap for the freedom that the greatest country in the world offers, because the world has enemies in the cause of freedom. There are those who would eradicate democracy from our world, and those who champion it.
The job of protecting freedom is demanding and can leave a person broken and defenseless. Our Military needs the support of every American every day. Let each day be a day when you contact a Soldier or Soldier's Family Member that you know to say, "thank you, is there anything we can do for you and yours?" For truly, these young men and women of courage are making sacrifices... and when they return from theater, it is hard for them to "be still," because of the vigilance they had to cultivate in order to stay alive and well.
Come and see the birds at Soldier's heart, especially if you are a Soldier or the member of a Soldier's Family. The stay is free to you, Randy and I owe you as well as all Americans do, and we wish to offer you a place to "be still and know." The birds are beautiful here. I have even seen two bald eagles, I know, I know, I thought I had been out in the sun too long too... I will tell that story soon, it is a wonderful story, and talks of "soaring on wings like eagles..."