This time of year, the birds come.
I went to a flea market, and saw a mammoth display of birdseed.
I always wanted to feed the wild birds.
Actually, not so much feed them, as to spy on them . . . like watching creatures from a different planet as they descend into my back yard . . . to feast
In the past, bird feeders proved too expensive for my limited budget. But now, they were selling at a flea market price of $1.50.
I couldn t resist the temptation . . . such a deal . . . and only $10.00 for a 20-pound box of wild bird seed.
I bought two feeders, 20-pounds of seed, and all was set.
With great delight, and high expectations, I readied the feeders.
The first day . . . nothing.
The second day . . . a fearless sort, ventured into what, for him, could very well have been a death
trap. Life certainly poses its risks, but then again . . . it was a long flight north and we were talking about store bought, grade A , premium quality bird seed. Why, even I was tempted!
The full line on the feeder dropped to three-quarters, and in direct relationship, the chest and belly of the delicate creature began to inflate.
After consuming what certainly was his body weight,
he jumped off the feeder perch, expecting to fly easily away.
His body dropped the full six feet, nearly touching the ground, before the accelerated thrust of his wings lifted his over limit load skyward.
The next day . . . all the seed was gone. I knew something big was happening!
The day after was Saturday, which I had already dedicated in its entirety to bird watching. In the early a.m., I loaded
both feeders, then sat in a corner of the yard and uncorked a bottle of Gallo Premium Reserve Dry Burgundy. I planned to sit it out, wait, and experience the unexpected.
Before long, they came . . . I mean
birds . . . hundreds of them . . . big and small, yellow, red and blue, humming and chirping.
Someone had put out the word.
I watched for hours . . . refilling the feeders when necessary. By
noon, they had eaten a full five pounds, and weren t showing any signs of fatigue. I was on my second bottle, matching them drop for seed.
A cat passing by glanced jealously over, envying my perch.
From the void, a musical montage of birds, children, barking dogs, and Cindi Lauper emerged . . . in retrospect, it was probably there all along, but I hadn t noticed until the accumulated effect of wine worked its
magic. The birds obviously relished the fare. I wondered if people acted this boisterously in restaurants, but, being people, couldn t take notice. I decided they did not . . . rather than risk harsh crossings with my
I saw a kite in the sky . . . three boys had finally managed to get it aloft. Their sisters sat nearby, and their voices, floating on the wind, told me they were playing house, and fantasizing
their lives as they hoped them to be.
I sat my glass down, in the grass by my foot. A worm stretched along in harmony to the concert. Above him, a dandelion gave shade from the sun. A flash of yellow at the
top . . . and just as I saw it, thousands more magically appeared on the lawn around me.
I left my chair, to lie on the ground. It was soft and sweet. I closed my eyes, and my consciousness dropped the
accumulated years of baggage that my life had become. For a few moments, I was once again flying a kite, and living in the world of dreams, where life was free and delicious, and without risk.
Spring had finally arrived . . . and the darkness of winter was gone for the moment!