For the birds

I’ll definitely miss the birds. I really enjoy seeing these “exotic” balls of feathers every day. Sometimes I’ll suddenly realize that the finch sitting outside my window can also be found for sale in a pet store in the States. I also always stop and spend time enjoying the colors when I spy a male sunbird (try a Google image search for: Male Variable Sunbird).

A few months ago there was a young bird learning to fly just outside of our living room window. For an entire Saturday we listened to it protest as the parents coaxed it out of the hedge and around the yard. It would spend 20 minutes at a time obstinately parked under a bush and tweet in frustration. After a few hours, I wanted to go out and chase it around just to make the point that learning to fly is a valuable life skill.

Maybe I’ll miss the birds because I can hear them all the time. Indoor/outdoor space is so flexible here and being driven batty by something happening outside is a common occurrence. We were getting ready for bed the other night and Robin thought something was wrong with me because he heard a person sneeze on the road just outside our window. The birds are a reminder that our life here is always somewhat public.

Over the summer there will be times when I will really miss that connectedness with the outside world and times when I won’t miss it one bit. At times American homes will seem too insular and fortress-like. At other times it will be a relief to have a quiet bedroom or to not have the sound of rain overpower a movie. Air conditioning will be a huge luxury. However, the trade-offs will be not smelling the rain before it arrives and not knowing that a beautiful bird is singing out in the bushes.

I’ll miss the birds.


3 Responses to “For the birds”

  1. Oh Amy! I echo your comments and feelings! I do miss the birds in Togo and other “wildlife”. But, I am learning to appreciate the different birds here in Tennessee. I have a funny story along those lines…I was walking into work one day with some co-workers and I spotted a huge hawk overhead. I exclaimed, “Oh look! What a beautiful bird!” They all just stared at me like I was a freak. Oh well. 🙂

    • Tracey, yes! Why is it that noticing little things and taking the time to comment on them makes you seem like a crazy person? 🙂 I think it’s a great way to live fully in the moment (well, that’s what I tell myself when someone looks at me like I’m a crazy person, ha) Besides, Stephen would be so disappointed if you failed to take time to appreciate beautiful birds 😉

  2. I know the feeling… The other day I was in my office at work when up popped a Bald Eagle RIGHT outside my window (on the 14th floor), floating on an updraft in the middle of downtown Portland. It was a very odd moment. I was simultaneously thinking “How awesome to be at eye level with this huge and beautiful bird, while he’s FLYING!” and “How sad that our cities are taking over their habitat so much that he is forced to dodge buildings instead of trees while flying.” I said both out loud to the girl I share an office with and she looked at me like I was crazy. Ah, well.

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