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.
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