Feed the Birds
All around the cathedral, the saints and apostles
Look down as she sells her wares.
Although, you can’t see it,
You know they are smiling,
Each time someone shows that he cares.
~Sherman Brothers~ from Mary Poppins
The actions that the lyrics authorize, that the saints smile upon,
are more than just kindness and simple generosity: they are an alternative social action. And while ‘feeding the birds’specifically seems fairly insignificant, it nonetheless operates within a specific social vision, the Biblical mandate of ‘stewardship’. As opposed to capitalism, which sees nature as a commodity, as something endlessly subject to commodification and the human demands for profit, stewardship imposes a responsibility on humanity to care for nature. The Bird Woman carves out a space for stewardship even within a modern urban setting, and the lyrics of the song strongly endorse it.