That sunflower had another function, though, my favorite one. Last winter, every night, two Carolina wrens would tuck into its cavity and sleep the night away.
Summer came; the birds found another place to nest, and the sunflower was consigned to a shelf in the shop. There, besides providing a few nibbles for a visiting mouse, it gathered dust.
I hung it out again this fall, on the chance of seeing the wrens again. One evening about a week ago, when I had all but given up, they appeared. Since then, they've been coming every night shortly after sundown. They jostle for position before settling in, and by the time we walk Barley, a couple of hours later, all we can see is the tips of their tail feathers, near enough to touch, but we wouldn't dare disturb them.
These two little birds have each other, and a cozy shelter. At this Christmas season, would that everyone could have the same.
Joy to the world! the Lord has come;
Let earth receive her king;
Let every heart prepare Him room,