Life is for the birds

This is for Elizabeth.

Let’s talk about chickadees!

My heart leapt yesterday at the neighbourhood bus stop. We parents gather there every morning with a gaggle of bundled-up elementary school kids, waiting for the big orange tube to come ’round the corner. The past two months have been cold bus-stopwaiting —  red noses and frozen toes all around as Ottawa is held tight in the grip of the longest cold snap in living memory. But yesterday, suddenly, the birds were back. A bright cardinal high on a wire over the cedar hedge, and a party of cheery chickadees hopping and diving amid the branches of a crab apple tree.

I felt a surge of joy! What can I say? It was awesome. And when I gathered the kids around, getting them to lay down their snowball arms for a minute of peace, they noticed too. So today all we can talk about are cute little black-capped chickadees.

Reflecting on this last night at bedtime with Simon (10), it occurred to me that he can learn at a very young age what it has taken me nearly 47 years to figure out. As long as we can feel joy in a little hopping bird and find wonder in how it survives outside — and thrives! — at -25C, we can be confident that everything is gonna be OK. Worrying is pointless! And we’ve got it easy here in Ottawa. Maybe we should be more grateful for our warm beds and full bellies and the fact that we don’t have to eat our own weight in scavenged seeds to stay alive (every day).

Simon slept well last night. So did I. Things are better now. I’m learning to be patient with figuring out what all this means. Meanwhile, drive safely Elizabeth. Keep your eyes open for rouge-gorge.

 

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