Thursday, August 24, 2006

Birds in flight

Today is one of those bright-overcast days where the light seems to never change and comes from every direction. I was just feeling blue and irritated and anxious. I felt I just couldn't deal with the day at all, so I headed out into my backyard to sit, relax and commune with Mother Nature's cousin, Garden of Weeden. My poor backyard is mostly weeds, with some plants and bushes, but I figure, as long as it is green and growing, that is fine by me.

So I was sitting, relaxing, staring up at the sky, when I noticed that there seemed to be an awful lot of birds twittering. I also noticed one particular twitter I had never heard before. I looked around, and there was a vibrant yellow bird, with a black head and wings and an orange beak pecking at the neighbour's purple coneflowers. I just sat in amazement at a bird I had never seen around here before. I know, I 'm sure it has some official name, but I am not a bird watcher, just a bird enjoyer. I thought maybe it was an escapee finch from someone's house. I drifted to noticing other the other birds too. I saw regular brown finches (cheep cheep), grackles (black with white spots, crawk crawk), male and female cardinals, a small bird with its neck the colour of light dried blood, a bird with its chest and neck a light burnt orange. I also heard a crow or two (caw caw) and saw the inevitable squirrels (chatter chatter). It seems like there was a buffet of grubs going on in the next door neighbour's yard, because there was probably 50-100 birds hanging out, twittering and having a grand ol' time. Soon, I saw that there were more of the yellow birds around. I now figured they must be some wild bird that me in my busy day-to-day existence never noticed. Occasionally, a bird would wander into my backyard and peck, bob, bend, twist and stretch to eat the seeds from my tall weeds in the side garden. Sometimes, one bird would give an alarm squawk and all the birds would rise from the ground and sit on my fence and my weeds. When a silent "all clear" was given, the birds would drift back down to the grass and peck away, chatter and be together. Too soon, the buffet was closed for the day and the birds flew away.

For just a few moments, I belonged to a life other than my own. I felt I had a view of a secret life; a life I had once dreamed of and coveted, even though I could not describe it. It was like seeing into a house with a library with beautiful wood panelling, and even though you liked it, you knew in your real life it wouldn't be practical or enjoyable. There were split seconds of being transported back to my teen years when any dream was possible and your home could be anything you could imagine it to be. I felt I "belonged" in the birds' world. Far too soon, the sun decided to come out, and I drifted back to my reality. The birds had taken me on a flight of fancy, and gently reminded me of lives being lived outside my own narrow existence.


Donna said...

This is an amazing piece, in words. I could almost hear them twittering, almost feel the sun on my face, smell the "green" of the plants. This was wonderful....thank you for the visit to this otherwordly place :-)

Anonymous said...

This is poetrey. It is Art ( YES with a capital A).

Thank you for taking me to the secret world of your birds.

Ms. S