This time of year, the
I went to a flea market, and saw a mammoth display of
I always wanted to feed the wild birds.
Actually, not so much feed them, as to spy on them. Like
watching visitors from different worlds as they
descended into my back yard to feast and party.
In the past, bird feeders proved too expensive for my
limited means. Now, they were selling at bargain
Who could resist the temptation? Such a deal, and only
an hour’s wage for a 20-pound box of wild bird seed.
I bought two feeders, 20-pounds of seed, and all was
With great delight, and high expectations, I readied the
The first day, nothing.
The second day, a fearless sort ventured into what for
him, could very well have been a trap. Life certainly
poses its risks, but then again, it was a long journey
north and we were talking about store bought, grade A ,
premium quality wild bird seed. Sunflower, corn, millet
... yum. Why even I was tempted!
The fill level on the feeder dropped a notch or two, and
in direct proportion, 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
His body dropped a full six feet, nearly touching the
ground, before the accelerated thrust of his wings
lifted his over limit load skyward.
Next day, all the seed was gone. I suspected something
big was underway!
The day after was Saturday, which I had already
allocated in its entirety to bird watching. In the mid
morning I loaded both feeders, then sat in a corner of
the yard with an uncorked bottle of premium dry
burgundy. As an afterthought, I jerry rigged two old
juice bottles into hummingbird feeders and filled them
with sugar solution. I planned to sit it out,
wait, and experience the unexpected.
Before long, they came. I mean birds. Possibly hundreds
of them. Big and small, yellow, red and blue, humming
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 letting up. I was on my
second bottle, matching them drop for seed.
A cat passing by glanced jealously over, envying my
Entering my head from the void, a musical montage of
birds, children, barking dogs, and All You Need Is
Love emerged on the warming breeze. In retrospect,
it was probably there all along, but I hadn’t noticed
until the accumulative 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 allow themselves to take notice.
I decided they did not, rather than risk harsh crossings
with my own kind.
I saw a kite in the sky. Three boys in the distance had
finally managed to get it aloft. Their sisters sat
nearby, and their own voices, floating on the wind, told
me they were playing house and fantasizing their lives
as they hoped them to become.
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
blanketed the lawn around me.
I abandoned my seat to lie on the ground. It was soft
and sweet. I closed my eyes, and my consciousness
dropped away the accumulated years of baggage 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 winter's darkness had
departed for the moment!