I felt a bit sorry for the woodpecker, checking out the swing support. I didn’t think he’d find any nice grubs in there. But he made a circuit of the garden and stopped off at the bird feeder. He didn’t seem to find anything to suit his fancy there either, and I wondered if a few mealworms might have been appreciated.
Gordon the guinea fowl ate mostly mealworms. But when he died, the last of the clutch of seven we’d nurtured from eggs, we stopped getting them in. So the woodpecker may not have found what he’d hoped for. On the other hand, dried up old mealworms mightn’t have the same zing as fat juicy grubs. Anyway, he flew off in search of other food providers, but I was lucky to catch him on his travels.
I was thinking about the thing with persistence, even while your head is aching, even while your heart is breaking. Sometimes it’s a double-edged sword. Sometimes persistence goes too far, when it might be better to stop banging your head against the wall. How does that song go, Don’t go breakin’ my heart. But how do you get to the joy you’re searching for if too soon you give up trying? Woodpecker’s got to eat, maybe another tree might bring rewards.
Maybe that’s where the resting and reconnoitring come into play. When it’s time to assess what’s been happening, how the process is working, what you’ve achieved so far, and what you might yet achieve with persistence. Is it time to cut your losses or to keep plugging away at something?
At these times of vulnerability, the smallest word of encouragement can work wonders, I’ve found. A glimmer, a tantalising glimpse of what the success you hope for might look like, and it’s that much easier to get back to the grindstone.
And with that tiny bit of encouragement, you can get back to finding the joy in the process. Even banging your head against the wall can elicit some sort of positive return. As they say, sometimes perseverance is its own reward.
As long as I don’t forget to stop and rest, and reflect, sometimes along the way.