The other day Mark turned the volume off on the television and hushed me. Automatically, I assumed we were playing “name that song,” a game we often enjoyed given that our downstairs neighbor is something of a musician. “I don’t hear anything.”
“The birds! The birds are back!”
This wasn’t news to me, as I had heard the little fellows a day or two beforehand. One of my favorite parts of the year is when the leaves finally appear on the trees, but there’s something to be said for the return of the birds.
Coinciding with their arrival, I happened to open a word file that has a halfway decent story in it. As I read, two things occured to me. At one point, I forgot that I was reading my own words, which has always been a sign to me that something I’ve written is actually good, and I realized that one of the plot points in the story are birds. These thoughts connected in my mind; the new tweeting I hear outside my window, and the fact that I happened to open a story where the first line speaks of a chirping bird. Somehow, to me, it’s a sign of good tidings.
I’ve always liked birds. They remind me of my grandmother, who loves them, and who would tell me the names of all the birds in her yard when I was young. She particularly likes hummingbirds, and had a feeder hanging in out back for most of my life. One time, she found a petrified bird in the attic. Everyone thought it was gross except for me, who suggested we paint it with glitter and hang it on the Christmas tree. My grandmother found this to be hilarious while others found it disgusting. Obviously, she gets me.
I also like birds because they are the remnants of dinosaurs. I like to imagine them 30 feet tall and without feathers. I said this to M one day and watched his eyes grow wide with fear. “But dude, you love Godzilla.”
“Godzilla is not a giant BIRD.”
The kid makes a fair point.
What the return of the brds really symbolizes to me is a sense of renewed hope. Spring is coming, and they are the minstrels that hearken it. Soon the grass will turn green, the flowers will bloom, and the leaves will bud on the trees. The cold, dark winter is ending, and life can start anew. I think each of us can appreciate that.