We are all individuals and enjoy different things. Whether we are thinking of activities that we find enjoyable, things that give us pleasure or our preferred way of relaxing we have different views. Something that brings one person joy may make another angry, annoyed, frightened or just bored.
It was the swallows' nest above my back door that got me thinking about this. The nest has been there since I moved in three years ago but it has been empty previously. Recently I noticed an adult swallow perching on it and I started looking up each time I exited the back door hoping to glimpse a swallow.
I feel a little guilty for disturbing the pair of swallows living in the nest when I turn on the nearby light at night, but my pets do need to go outside from time to time. Yes, they do need the light switched on as both are ageing and their night vision is no longer good.
A couple of days ago I got a real thrill to see the open beak of a fledgling peeping out of the nest. I was pleased to be able to get photos.
Yesterday I saw three open beaks and my son says he saw four this morning. So far I have only observed three beaks but I hope to see the fourth one soon.
The parents are kept busy flying back and forth to the nest with food for their babies.We find it so exciting and are getting a great deal of pleasure from observing the inhabitants of the nest. Yes, I have to clean up bird droppings from under the nest every day but I consider it a small price to pay for the joy they bring.
Fledglings waiting to be fed. Image by Marie Vonow
While we get joy from the swallows there are other people who would feel differently. Some would be angry about the nest being there in the first place. They would have knocked it down along with the cobwebs under the verandah roof. I have heard of people who go to great lengths to stop birds building nests under their verandahs.
Others would not be really angry but they would be annoyed about the mess under the nest. They might not destroy the nest but they would not be happy about it.
Some people are frightened of birds and would be nervous each time they walked under the nest.
There are people with ornithophobia and they are terrified of birds. They might not be able to make themselves walk under the nest. For them, having a bird nesting above the back door would be a nightmare, not a joy.
Parent and fledglings Image by Marie Vonow
For other people, this event which brings me joy would just make them feel bored. They would not have a strong emotion about it and certainly wouldn't understand why I think it is exciting, amazing and a great joy.
Yes, people are different and react in different ways and experience varying emotions about the world around them. I empathise with anyone with a bird phobia. However, I am sad that some people destroy nests simply because of the mess the birds make. Others would disagree with me and would argue that the bird droppings contain germs. People think and react differently and what brings joy to some invokes different emotions in others.
You and I are the same on this one Marie - the nesting swallows by our laundry door bring me joy, and seeing the open beak makes me even more joyful! I love seeing birds doing their thing in their habitat, whether in 'the wild' or sharing with us humans!
Thanks for your comment, Carolyn. The first thing we do each morning is check out how 'the kids' are going. They are now sometimes sitting on the edge of the nest. We know they are growing up so fast and 'the kids' will leave us soon so we are making sure to take time to observe them every day.
Yes it is interesting how our attitudes can shape our emotional responses, and our behaviour. It sounds lovely, the bird and the fledglings. I do hope they continue to bring you joy :)
Thanks for your response Justine. The swallows are continuing to delight me and today I saw 4 beaks! I am seeing a complete fuzzy head and bright beady eye sometimes, not just a wide open beak. Every day we see something different as the littlies are growing and getting stronger. It is so exciting.