Hmmm. I began a sentence first about how all are talking about soon returning to places of employment. The whens; the wheres; the circumstances of which. And immediately I groaned. So not where I want to tread today!
Instead, I have just been eating my lunch sitting in front of the kitchen window that looks out back at the bird feeders, and the birds that feed at them. And the whole time, was serenaded by a titmouse who between tugging sunflower seeds out of the feeder, and poking at the dogwood branches to place them within, sang out her whole range of mezzo-soprano melodies, unconcerned by the 20 degrees farenheit chill, that “feels like” 9 degrees farenheit due to wind chill, unconcerned by that very active wind that is making that chill and shoving me indoors all day, because I, as noted in a previous post or two, do not enjoy how much work it is for me to walk against chilly winds, nevermind pedal my bicycle into their press.
So, the titmouse (family paridae) and her considerably larger, similar in so many ways except size, blue jay (family corvidae) compatriots: They, both species, stay put year round, have attentive crests that rise and fall, hang out in mixed crowds, are not shy about grabbing their desired portion of the food, are also of prominent voice providing a mix of songs and calls that carry over most any intervening noises, are delightful to watch, and seem to stare back at me almost as one of us looks at ourself in the mirror, open-eyed and objectively.
I am grateful for the signs of spring, one being that a day this cold has quickly become an oddity, not the norm. But I miss the private silence that a new snowfall imposes, such that the titmouse, the blue jay, even the constantly background chattering house sparrows, are hushed, just briefly. And then, when they do call out, it is as if a forest surrounds me, as if nothing but the forest and its free, safe dwellers is surrounding me and there is no strong sugar maple felled for aesthetic nor for fear reasons, no hefty red oak having only car hoods and roofs as a destination for its generously shed acorns, no beeches scratched along their bodies with initials and arrow-pierced hearts, no big-tooth aspens rising without community, solo, like power poles strung with cable, no tulip poplars flowering for none but those power lines, the windows of houses almost larger than their property dimensions, the chainlink fences against which they have rubbed for decades. I miss that mystery of new snow cover.
But I am grateful that the presently relatively barren signs of spring, portend leafing–yellow, lime green, deep green, swarthy red, striped, speckled; and fruiting–especially berries the size of a comma to berries that fill my palm, and drupes (fruits with stone centers) of so many colors and textures. These will cover, will disguise, will make disappear if I half close my eyes, the structures we have designed and constructed beneath our feet, beside us, and over us, crowding, crowding. A stand of beeches, maples, ashes, oaks, pines and firs beckons me. A stand of architecturally significant homes, or office compounds unnerves me.
Well, just walked back into the kitchen, and then out to the back porch briefly. Simultaneously, a white breasted nuthatch was honking from the dogwood, and a downy woodpecker was hammering at the pin oak in the yard behind ours, while a crowd of house sparrows hovered around and crowded each other away from the “song bird mix” seed feeder. Petey had placed himself on the kitchen floor inside the bounds of the bright, sunlit spot provided through the west window. He is not interested in watching birds.
And now back at my desk, Maria napping beside me, has been known, frequently, to leap from a deep, snoring sleep to pointer position in front of a window across the house outside of which one of the re-emerging chipmunks may be passing. What is within her awareness center that captures that whispering footfall 35 feet and several walls and doorways away? A mystery to unravel another time. For now:
“No one can measure the depth of God’s understanding.” Isaiah 40:28c