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inspiration: birds, my teachers from on high

IWROTE A PIECE FOR ‘PARADE’ MAGAZINE this week about birds, and how many things these avian messengers have taught–and continue to teach–me. It’s a theme in my new memoir; the birds that visit me are among the book’s leading characters, in fact. Sometimes their arrivals are unfortunately abrupt, like the one, above, who bounced off a window one day last year, but had a soft landing in Jack the Demon Cat’s outdoor pet bed on a chair on the porch). Bad news, good news, huh?

Fortunately, Jack was indoors, where he is confined by day, as all cats must be for songbird safety. What I wrote in “Parade,” in an article entitled “Flying Lessons,” included things I’ve learned from birds, like when to move on (think: migration); how to stand on your own two feet (what other animal but humans, and birds, has just two?); to always have a Plan B; and to believe in magic. (You’ll have to read the article, or better yet, the book, to “get” the last couple of ideas. The bottom line: in my new life I am a bird whisperer. No kidding.)

That black ribbed thing in the middle of the pet bed in the photo that looks like a sock is one–filled with catnip, for Jack, not the incoming birds. Don’t think the Red-Eyed Vireo (I think that’s who it is) was interested. We sat together for maybe a quarter hour before he said goodbye and flew off. Primitive mankind thought that birds brought the thunder and the rain, but I think they bring much more than that, and even wisdom.

Go read the “Parade” article, either in your Sunday paper on on their website. Or read about how birds–“twice-borns” like myself (they are “born” as eggs, then hatch; I took a slower route than egg-to-chick to my latest “life”)–and other twice-borns like snakes and frogs have helped me find my way in my rural life here. I thank them all, and nature in general, for its rich teachings and constant inspiration.

(Note: FTC requires that I say that any Amazon links yield a small “profit” for me, which I use to buy new books for my blog giveaways.)

CategoriesBook inspiration
  1. Kathy M says:

    Loved your article. I was outside early this morning walking with my Lab Angelica and listening to the birdcalls as we do most mornings . I realized there was a whole new chorus of spring mating calls and it was so wonderful to hear. The Bluebirds and Chickadees have already started to build but it seems the Cardinals,Towhees and Titmice were all singing their hearts out looking to attract that perfect partner.Even heard the call of a Woodcock down in the pasture. Went in to start breakfast with a light heart
    knowing that even with all the terrible news we are hearing that mother nature is still
    on her own schedule and spring has arrived on time.

  2. Mary Farrand says:

    To Nadine, I love your comments about living in Paris and the way the birds have “evolved” in your city….The crows are my only noticeable winter companions in the winter in upstate NY. The chirping I hear now is so up lifting and promising of a new gardening season….I CANNOT WAIT!

  3. Margaret, I was captivated by your “growing lessons” in the book and your new life. I may have already asked, but do you mind telling (again, I’m sorry) me what bird books you recommend for identification of our feathered friends? Thanks so much. Loved the Parade article, too.

  4. Vivian Price says:

    Just finished reading your book, “And I Shall Have Some Peace There”, which gave me pleasure and pain (the snakes). I enjoyed reading about how you spent your days after giving up your job. Today I read your blog and now will make it a favorite along with Martha’s blog which I read frequently.

    I am also a gardener. bird watcher, cat person (and dog person), loved to cook, and
    also love to read. I retired after 45 years of working in corporate life, and had quite a difficult time adjusting from a full schedule to “what am I going to do today” life.

    Looking forward to reading your blog.

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Vivian. The “what am i going to do today” life is interesting…no infrastructure, no structure. I have the book-writing and freelance article writing and web consulting and lecturing and workshop-teaching to keep me in line (and earning$$$) but even with that, it is not as formed as the old life, when THEY told you what to do. :) See you again soon I hope!

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