teachers from on high: my bird essay in ‘parade’

IWROTE A PIECE FOR TODAY’S ‘PARADE’ MAGAZINE about birds, and how many things these avian messengers have taught–and continue to teach–me. It’s a theme in my new memoir “And I Shall Have Some Peace There.” 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, 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? More about birds and “Parade” and all of it here.

Categoriesbird sh-t
  1. Dee Bee says:

    Brava, Margaret, for your Parade article “Flying Lessons” which I just finished reading in today’s Palm Beach Post (FL)! I look forward to purchasing and reading your new book!

  2. AshAhrens says:

    Margaret –

    Many thanks for your “Flying Lessons” published in today’s Parade. I’m a novice birder in central Arkansas where we enjoy a varied and abundant population of wild birds. I’ve gotten a lot of joy from learning their names, songs and characteristics. I was very moved by your article and sincerely appreciate you sharing your – and their – life lessons with us.


    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Dee, and also Ashli. Nice to meet you thanks to “Parade.” I can tell you both understand the inspiration that these amazing creatures provide. Thank you both for saying hello today, and don’t be strangers! :)

  3. PJ says:

    I enjoyed your article! I think much can be learned from nature…if we listen and watch! Then I saw you had a blog, so I went right there! :)

  4. Greetings from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. After reading your piece in “Parade” this evening, I ordered your book via IBook and have just completed Chapter Two. I am an avid birder and a poor gardener, but am finding your “journey” to be the most compelling aspect of the book. Thank you for sharing your experiences and thoughts!

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Deborah, and thank you for the kind words. Poor gardeners are just those who have not yet dug enough holes. :) We will convert you! See you soon again, I hope.

      Welcome, PJ. Yes, listen and watch! You are so right. So often we are all in too much of a hurry, though, aren’t we? Trying to learn to sit still more here and take it all in. See you soon!

  5. LJ says:

    How timely! I have been thoroughly enjoying watching the birds flitter around in all their spring busyness, and have been trying to identify all those that have come to the feeder, but one species has really crashed into my bird-loving spirit these days.

    We have menacing Starlings, and some have decided that my siding needs holes pecked in it! They didn’t nest in the attic, they just pulled out all the insulation they could grab and then pecked more holes (about 2″ round). We spent all day Saturday patching holes, and today they were back at it! What do I do? I made some huge owl eyes, but since I read that they will steal a screech owl’s nest, I’m not sure this will intimidate them! Any suggestions?

    P.S. They are not protected by The Migratory Bird Act since they are a non-native invasive species…if this influences your suggestions!

  6. Anne Marie says:

    Read “Flying Lessons” in yesterdays Parade magazine. Can’t thank you enough for the wonderful words and sharing. I too love our feathered friends and can’t imagine a day without their gifts visually or musically. In my backyard, at one of my feeders, I have one special chickadee that visits at the same time each day and chases away much larger birds – just for the 10 or 20 minutes he feeds there. He is a tiny bully and just a joy to watch. Once again, thank you for the smile yesterday.

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Anne Marie. How nice of you to write, and also tell me of your little bully. :) Lots of voices starting to rev up outside here these recent days. Exciting!

  7. Mary Farrand says:

    To Nadine: Thank you for your city bird observances in Paris….amazing how they adapt. My only obvious bird friends in the winter are the crows….5am now, I awaken to bird calls….makes me very hopeful!

  8. Glenda Ekey says:

    On April 2, and April 3, Masterworks Chorus of the Shenandoah Valley and The Arts Academy Choral of Winchester, Virginia, are having a Collaborative Concert with 100 voices singing choral music , including the world premiere performance of newly commissioned works by Virginia composers Will Averritt and Aaron Garber. One of the works by Aaron Garber is “Hope Is The Thing With Feathers” from “Three Dickinson Settings”, with SATB Choir, Piano Four-Hands, Glockenspiel, and Vibraphone.

    1. Margaret says:

      Thanks, Glenda, and welcome. “Hope is the thing with feathers” indeed! One-hundred voices…wow. Hope to see you soon again.

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