Monday, April 7, 2014

For My Children


Seagull | Photograph by Andre Eide

The skies are clearer now, there are so many more birds in the trees, flitting from one to the other. The leaves are also returning, providing new contrasts. Shades of green against blues of sky make for varied and treasured views that change moment to moment as the earth rotates ever so slowly on her axis.

I made an observation the other day as I watched a red wing blackbird scale its way from limb to limb.  It was a beautiful sight, that bird with its full wing span, the brilliant red patches revealed as it was in flight.  When it landed, shuttering its wings, it was once again a totally black bird. The secret was hidden.  On another tree, a woodpecker perched.  It was facing the tree and as a result, the full beauty of its "dress" was revealed; red hat, white and black coat, drop-dead gorgeous.  The blue jays, were seen from the same position. In-flight, they show the most amazing burst of blue and black and white in their wing span.

There's a feeder below our window.  A kind and caring neighbor keeps it stocked and the birds come as do the ducks and turkeys, from morning until night.  Looking down, I see only their heads, the tops of their bodies, shoulders as it were. It's hard at times to distinguish which from which,  looking down at them as they feed and walk around in circles, and it is not until they once again soar upwards, fly through the trees with the blue sky as a background, that their full beauty and uniqueness is seen.  The red wing blackbird distinguishes itself from the other black birds. The blue jay is no longer seen as the aggressor that it is.  The Baltimore Oriole is a joy to behold and the sea gull, majestic.

My mother used to try to comfort me when I would lament to her that as my children matured into young adults, I spent less and less time with them.  She would compliment Joe and I, by saying that we had done maybe too good a job at giving them independence, the goal of parenting having been met in spades. We gave them wings and let them fly.  Their time ground-feeding was incredibly short as it turns out and it wasn't until they took flight that their true beauty was revealed.

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