Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pecking Order

As I seated myself at my computer desk this morning, I did as I always do at that point, pulled back the curtain on the window to my left.  Today, a somewhat murky one, had a pleasant surprise awaiting.
Six wild turkeys pranced around on the lawn, at the very spot I noticed a neighbor filling a bird feeder just the other day.  Stupid big birds, two of them fighting over turf control, rummaging around in search of the tiniest bits of bird feed.  I watched them for a little while, perhaps not as long as I would had the sight of large groups of wild turkeys been a novel one.  We've been seeing them for years now, in the most unlikely of places....driveways of private homes, crossing busy streets, visiting the golf courses and in one very scary instance, walking around a real estate office on the very urban Commonwealth Avenue in Brookline Massachusetts.  On that occasion, we were also walking on the avenue, with our toddler granddaughter in her stroller, she and turkey at the same height.  Fear gripped us as we realized that one wrong move on the child's part, and that bird could easily take a peck at her little face so we pushed the stroller quickly away and made our dash.

I just returned to my computer and looked out in the other direction from the picture window and there they were again, this time,visiting the feeder of another kind neighbor, pecking and scratching at the base of the receptacle in pursuit of more of the tiny morsels that were meant for birds much smaller than they.

Now,we don't live in an asphalt jungle.  Ours is a town-mandated conservation area.  We live on a pond that is surrounded by natural beauty,lots of trees, small wildlife and berry bushes. The front of our complex is wooded, here again, many opportunities for catching a quick meal were you a big healthy bird.  So, my question is how do the turkeys know exactly where the lovely and thoughtful neighbors have set food out?  It's not that there are any large and fragrant chunks of bright-colored culinary delights.  It's smaller than pebble-sized, natural colored and odorless.  Yet, it seems to beckon the likes of the big dumb turkeys.

Oh, there is a point to my story today.  I'm a little over two weeks away from my departure date for what I anticipate will be my great adventure to Italy, solo for the first time.  My friends who share my enthusiasm and encourage me have asked, "why Assisi?" For me, it was an easy choice.  I'm like those turkeys.  Italy is a big, amazing country with lots of food choices.  So is the country in which I reside.  Huge and plentiful.
I could very well have planned a road trip somewhere in the U.S.,taken my time, gone to a spa.  After all, my intention is to spend time recovering from a the loss of a parent while preparing for the future, time out.  Time to get a "story", something I feel is still missing from my life.  So, like those birds out there, I am skipping the big choices and zeroing in on what I know is there for me.  I can't see it from afar, can't smell it or recognize it in any other way than from my hunger for the satiety that will come from the smallest of seeds.

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