Tacoma Spring

Tacoma Spring
 

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 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 basement prices.
 
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 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 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!
 
He feasted!
 
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 away.
 
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 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 letting up. I was on my second bottle, matching them drop for seed.
 
A cat passing by glanced jealously over, envying my perch.
 
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!

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