Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Flight of Fancy

What have you come here looking for? It is more than likely that you will not find it here, but I'm happy you stopped by anyway. Come on in, sit down for a spell, have a cup of coffee and a croissant.

I am starting to think that I am one of those people, you know, a birder. I deliberately chose that word, instead of bird-watcher, because it seemed to me to indicate how far into the abyss I think I've allowed myself to slide. I don't just find myself reading backyard bird guides and paying close attention to their little bird markings which distinguish them from similar types, but I find that I have the disconcerting new habit of TALKING to the little buggers. This cannot be healthy.

Today, there were robins outside work when I got out of my car, and although they could surely care less about my arrival, since I was not walking closely enough to interfere with their intense worm-watching activities, I couldn't help myself but say innane things to them like, "Hello babies! Look at you, you are so puffed up! And you ,running running running so fast and then stop still and stand at attention! How are you guys?" It's the same monologue for any of the birds I see in the yard or outside of work, just changed to fit their characteristics and behavior. "Look at you, little sparrow guy, with your brown hat! Where is your female? Are you finding lots of good seeds today?" Etc., etc. Like I said, this can't be healthy.

Even still, I cannot help myself but be so happy when I see a new kind of bird, or one that I don't see often. It's thrilling to hear the call of that bird that I haven't yet identified, but whose call reminds me so much of spending time walking in the woods near here when I was young. And the other day, I stood out in the backyard and was amazed to see four birds with giant wingspans circling high above my yard. I've noticed these birds about a mile up the road, closer to a woody area with tall trees and craggy hills, but to see all four of them riding the air currents right above me was one of those moments that brought me out of myself and my petty problems, and made me think about happier days, when I had lots of time to walk in the woods and spend time alone with my own thoughts.

I envy them, being able to fly, and I pretend that they have a carefree existence, and long for that for myself, even though I know intellectually that they must actually have a very rough existence, always on the edge of survival, hunting for food, avoiding predators, dealing with the encroachment of builders on their natural habitat, and having to deal with humans in general. When I was young, I used to dream all the time that I could fly, and I wonder when that reoccuring theme stopped cropping up. Instead, I often dreamt of falling, and would wake up abruptly just before hitting bottom.

I suppose the talk of dreams is getting a bit off the subject, but there really wasn't an agenda to this post, just another rambling about whatever came to mind, and I have birds on my mind today. I hope that when I go to sleep tonite, my unconscious lets me soar with the big wing-span birds tonite.

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