Photo snapped by yours truly in Yosemite
Birds. Feathery, sleek, what is it about them that draws them to me? Is it their seeming freedom, their infinite beauty both from afar and when tail feathers are examined up close? One stops to peck at the sunflower seeds and nuts balancing on a tray in our backyard and I am instantly mesmerized, stopping what I am doing, rising from my chair at my desk to look closer out my office window. Peck. Peck. Peck. I want to go take a picture. He is blue, a jay, common in our yard. The tinier birds also frequent the backyard feeder/diner and lately there have been robins. I so enjoy watching them.
Today on our walk, geese flew overhead, honking like donkeys. Hee haw. Hee haw. Close over my head they flew. Of course I stopped to watch them fly in formation, their wings so dark and black against the cold white sky. I'm in awe and admiration of them as if they were magical beings and yet they are doing what is ordinary to them. Why have I always thought of all the animals I would like to be a bird? When I was much younger I very frequently dreamt I was flying. Though truth be told in my dreams I flew less like a bird and more like Sister Bertrille if you remember the flying nun.
But there I was, flying over hilltops, seeing the green earth below, taking off whenever the mood hit me.
The birds seem to represent something; something very real and permanent about life. We are not able to bear witness to to all the wildlife around us. But within the bird families, we can see nature displayed daily. Gathering food, building nests, hatching babies, flying south, chirping and singing are all part of the "ordinary" life which is exquisitely anything but ordinary to me. Each bird friend is an invitation to stop, to reflect, to be in this moment to admire what it takes to survive, to find beauty in the softness of the whisper of a feather.