all of the selves we Have ever been
For the Birds
I awaken this morning
and immediately begin to think how best to use yet another long, shelter-in-place day. I step to the window for the weather report. The sun is coming up in a clear blue sky, a welcome relief from the recent persistent heavy cloud cover and rain. Sliding the window open, I take the morning’s temperature. Perfect!
Dressing quickly, I head for the urban bike path near my home. It is a lonely start. No one passes by with a nod of greeting, no “good mornings.”
A few mores paces, and I begin to hear it. Voices are singing. A choir stretches the length of the path, right and left. Like long strands of twinkling Christmas lights, the birds fill the dark, leafless trees; they tuck themselves into the shrubs. Some divas claim the spotlight high up on the utility wires.
I listen to the blend of raucous voices, tweets and twitters, cheeps and chirps, songs and calls. A loud, insistent voice shouts “be-caws, be-caws.” Tell me more, I think. Do you have an answer to our troubles?
Since last I stepped out on the bike path, the birds returned en masse to this, their summer home. It is a joy to see this flock of essential workers. They have pollinating to do, seeds to disperse. Poop where they may, the ground needs fertilized. No need to fight over toilet paper. There is pest control to be done and scavenging to keep nature clean of decay. A good-natured bunch they are, singing as they work. Soon they will search for food to feed their young. More voices will join the work force and the choir.
The birds remind me that there are seasons in life. Each spring they return home to a place that is barren. They are not discouraged by the sight of empty sidewalks, leafless trees and lifeless soil. The task of these essential workers is resurrection, a mighty job of pollinating, seeding, fertilizing, cleaning, and pest control. We are aware of none of it. All we know is that they are singing.