I stand and watch the birds in the tree that sits just outside our bedroom window. Often the tree is full of chickadees and tiny titmouse, all of them flitting about, eager to get their turn at the feeder. In the deepness of winter these are the birds that flock to the feeders, and I never tire of watching them.
I admire those who know birds by name, those who can detect the slightest difference between the markings and colors of each species. Even with the bird book my father gave to me years ago handy, ear marked and studied, I fumble. I am equally awed by those who can recognize birds by their beautiful songs as the cadence and tones flow through the sky.
A few years back I spent a few hours listening to birdsongs on the internet, writing those sounds down the best I could, hoping the rhythms would stick inside my head. It proved to distract me from what I was after; the pure joy of watching.
As I opened the door to let the dog out one day last week, I heard a bird call, a birdsong I associate with the coming of spring. I stood as the cold air flowed in around my bare feet, and listened as joy and hope fluttered in like wings, and filled my soul.
Spring is coming, and so are the birds.