The “they” are birds. The “I” is me. It’s been a month since I’ve written you. I just haven’t been interested. “No oomph” equals “no write” in my mind. But it seems so strange. One of my contributions on this planet is writing – hopefully writing that reaches people in their lives.
Actually I let myself be stopped. A month or two ago, I wrote a piece here that I knew was the best thing I’d ever written. And nobody, on WordPress or Facebook, said a peep about it. I felt sad. I went away. I let you folks determine my happiness. That was a mistake. I can’t guarantee I won’t make it again.
Anyway, hello to Saturday. It’s time to say a thing or two.
I love the birdies who come to my two feeders – sunflower and nyjer. Seeing my friends so close out my living room window has been a blessing. A week ago they stopped coming.
Just like that. No goldfinches. No sparrows. No redwinged blackbirds. And especially no mourning doves. They’re my favourite. It felt like friends turning their backs on me. I’d look out this window longingly, wondering which would be better – birdies flying by to somewhere else, or no birdies at all. Both have happened in the last few days.
I’ve felt the truth: I have no control about what the other chooses to do. There’s no cage, physical or mental, that will do the trick. I can set the scene for visitors but there may or not be a knock on the door.
There’s a bittersweet beauty in the absence of things well known. See that field out there? The rise of grass? Many feathered ones have graced those spaces over the past four years. I remember them well, and feel them still as the sky is empty.
I turned on my brain two days ago. “We had a huge rain awhile back. The seed must have got wet. No self-respecting birdie wants to peck away at porridge.” So I put dry seed in the feeders. Hours later, all remained still.
Yesterday was another chapter. “Bruce, you haven’t cleaned the feeders for a year or two! Don’t you remember how to do things?” Well, apparently not. A big bucket full of bleach water, dismembered feeder parts, several hours of soaking, a thorough rinse, and an overnight of drying brought me to this morning.
Before you is the result of such purification. Calm and unvisited towers of seed. Oh, there have been glimpses: two tiny ones on the perches of the nyjer feeder, and one brave soul chewing on sunflower seeds. Plus two mourning doves grazing on the ground beneath. But no sudden happy ending. Sounds like life.
Right at this moment, no birdies are with me. And yet they are.