It was all green then snow fell confusing the birds. I put my boots on, go out in pajamas to fill the feeders. I stand at the window and watch birds fill the air, drop, spiral, land, lift off, flutter mid flight. Squirrels come; all of them eating. Not enough so I pull on my boots, throw seed like I’m feeding chickens; in the cedars birds screech, ‘get in the house.’ A swarm of Junco’s descend, the snow a calligraphy of black until the Cardinals bloody the snow.
I eat my cereal at the window. More come, then Crows drop like stones, peck seeds from the table of snow. Finches cover the feeders like farmed mussels. Seed disappears. Outside I toss the last of the seed, birds fly around me, land at my feet, sit on close branches. The Crows pump up and down like thugs, Jays scream ‘not enough.’
I close the door. In the kitchen I pull open cupboards, root out oatmeal, nuts, sesame seeds, cashews. I see the cereal in my bowl, take the screen off the window, crank it wide, then drag a chair to the sink and climb up, kneel on the counter, fling my cereal out the window to an explosion of wings.
I scrabble to get more food, spilling cashews over the counter. A crow on top of the window, plops down, picks up a nut. I freeze. Another through the window, flaps down in the sink then back up, stares at me. A third one lands. I hold this picture like it’s God.
I inch out of the room, sit out of sight and breathe. There is a rustling, clicking, flapping. A smile I can’t stop spreads across my face. I peek around the wall and catch shadows and oily black wings, great hopping bird movement. G will be home soon.
I slide open the door to the deck and close it. When G parks I wave and hold my finger to my lips, shushing him, motioning him to me. He walks over and I tell him to be quiet and follow. Shush I say. I slide the door and we move slowly in. I tip toe toward the kitchen, G behind.
On the floor a mess of Crows have torn open bread, they stab and rip it from each other, rattle, squawk, too many to count, Juncos hop, peck nuts on the counter, a Jay flies out the window with a cashew, a Cardinal is perched on the tap.
I say, ‘See.’
G can’t find words.
I know I say laughing, ‘ It’s amazing isn’t it.’
I’m with you LA – it IS amazing. Your wonder and appreciation are truly a gift for Pacha Mama, and your writing a gift for us…
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I had a flashback, reading this, to a teenage LA picking flies out of the sticky syrup on the top of the orange crush dispenser at the snack bar at Dominion Store, and carefully placing them on a paper towel to blot their feet so they could fly away.
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