Ask Not for Whom the Bird Tweets

I have a fairly big back yard. For suburbia, anyway. I have this fantasy of making it into a bird sanctuary, with berry bushes and birdhouses and maybe a nice birdbath or two. Of course, I’d have to get better at gardening, and fend off the neighbors’ outdoor cats, and get my kids to stop swinging on the tree.

I don’t mean that we have a tree swing, I mean that they use the branches for gymnastics routines. Which is pretty cool, but also swings the branches so wildly that I just know they’re going to snap on off and probably break an arm or leg in the process. And I’m sure all that racket is scaring off the birds.

But I still hear the birds everywhere, even if they’re not all right in my yard. Being a (very) amateur birdwatcher, I notice these things. Familiar calls, unfamiliar ones. Last week I got to watch a woodpecker hammer away at the phone pole in the corner of our yard. This morning I listened to the dawn chorus.

It’s transcendant. And sometimes annoying. OMg it’s exactly the way I feel about my kids! But really, this morning I just wasn’t feeling it. My spring allergies are in full gear, I didn’t sleep well last night, and the mom stuff just never ever stops. I dragged myself out of bed this morning and pretty much straight outside to enjoy the birds and I just . . . wasn’t moved that much.

All I got was another humbling dose of perspective. The birds don’t care about my stress. They aren’t tweeting for me. The birds, and the sun, and the faint fading stars? They don’t even know I exist. It was good to be there, to use a moment of my life to appreciate this majesty and abundance, but I can’t expect it to fix my life or my mood. So left the birds to their morning hunt and made breakfast. And the birds and I, we both got on with our work.

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