I moved around slightly this morning .....outside to catch a bit of air in the lee hours. A light rain was falling on my deck, and early morning rain.
Capturing the mist that fell, I opened my arms and starred upwards towards the sky. No stars tonight, no clouds even,...just darkness in night which barely moved. The rain fell but not in clumps or dots or drops, but just mist...and 'fine' at that.
As I just allowed myself to experience this and think of just this, a small flutter next to me in a bush woke me to reality. A little bird of sorts, black...brown, ...not sure, but it was small. Perhaps a titmouse, a sparrow or the like. The mist must have pounded down upon the wings and crest. I wondered to myself....what would it be like to be here tonight in the shadows of nothing, to know that only 'something' is on me, ....For I, though here in much the same shadows knew of the early morning rain, but to this little guy in the bush, what was it?
No one to cuddle with.....not even a blanket or plush animal to offer a resemblance of security. No others, although I can't believe it strayed here alone, were there to offer comfort. Much like those humans who came 'way before us' where they too must have been in awe of what 'was'....the days prior to science and knowledge. Not like this bird had no knowledge for yes, it did...it does. It knows where to find food in the whiteness of snow, or how to move over miles as it, along with many others navigate the world, or how it can crack a seed using only a beak, or can fly and dive and swoop or, how about how can it fly between a seemingly array of branches in a tree and pop out the other side unscathed? It has knowledge indeed, but not of this mist, this early morning rain.
I shrugged off my thoughts and moved back inside.... went back to bed. Deb asked me where I was and I thought and replied....nowhere, just out to view the darkness and to ponder nothing.
Although a forfeiture of a visual, a gain in sound.... The Chickadee was one I heard just today. I ventured into the wind and braved my way to the car, ...just to get what was left behind, but, in doing so....I found a sound that rang well to my ears.
A lone chickadee...... someplace in the birch above. Hidden, ....clasped to a branch as the wind blew the leaves and most likely ruffled a feather. It chirped again and I looked once more. I made my way around the birch, with low hung branches and leaves still attached. The swaying caught the side of my face and I brushed to pull the tree away. I looked up, yet no chickadee....only the sound.
Feeling a calling...I played seek and find, although I was limited to just 'seek'.... I moved back, yards away....and waited for the sound. Yes, over there on the top left, or is that center , or perhaps at ten? Not sure but it called once more. The gray clouds simply cloaked the maker of the sound as the starkness of the glare came down to me. While I jaunted around the tree like a child playing 'ring around the rosie', the Chickadee seemed to elude me, and ignored my advancements. The song was a continued orchestratic aspect of nature that moved me as I just gave up and decided to concentrate on listening alone.
Listen I did......until Deb called to me, breaking my zen. I looked up and repeated something to her, reminiscent of Charlie Brown talk, as I now recall.... Yet, falling back to the birch and the tree and the Chickadee, it was now the bird who eluded me not just in vision but in sound too. I had lost the game. The chickadee had grown tired of 'seek and attempt to find' and I was left under the canopy of the birch, alone and at a loss for thought.
I immediately realized it was a bit shy of being warm so I hustled back to the front door. Along the way I crooked my eyes to gain one last view of the tree but to no avail. Yes, I had lost..... But I didn't really for my mind still embraced the call of the Chickadee, so as I ventured inside, I knew I won, I won....I was blessed today with the sound of the wild.
What an odd fall...... no birds....no birds around my feeders. Like toy shelves stocked for Christmas, with employees lying in wait, ...cash registers brimming with change---all in anticipation of meddling ones who will flock in to just gaze, or touch, or to take off the shelf and feel and drop, yes, so are my feeders. They lie in wait in the breeze, as I hear the wind blow thru the half-naked trees, a gust pushing the chimes....a car swishing by....but still they lie in wait. The thistle is all 'thistled' to the top , yet nary a gold finch. Feeders plump with seed and not a lonesome dove. Suet sticking to the sides and perhaps, yes...perhaps...one little downy visiting now and then as if that is enough to quench my hunger for to view these flying creatures.
I know.....I have read up on this...... too warm up north...too much food...feeders are not needed. Hey, isn't that a good thing? Yes, it is nice to know that we as humans are not 'that needed', although we like to believe we are. Most of the time we involve ourselves in the practice of destroying so when our services are rendered but not used, we feel a bit abused. But wait, Arnold had it right when he so eloquently stated, 'I will be back'..... So will the birds.
But a soft morning such as this, where your eyes naturally wander outside to see movement in the branches and ground, a sudden gasp of breath occurs as your mind skips a thought or two, it is a scary thing of what 'might be' more common than not. My grand kids are a 'few months to 5+', and I wonder....as an adult, as the years mitigate youth, as they sit here on a Sunday morning, will they be astonished by what is not, or....will they accept simply what is?
Fifty years from now.....where will our birds be? Will our 'kind' during these years have saved wildlife or will we have made wildlife an anomaly of nature? Think of that, will wildlife be reduced to simply that of an anomaly? To go beyond birds, will we have elephant heads on our walls to grandly display the power that man has conquered over a mere beast, or will we have an elephant in the wild to actually view and smell and sense it's power? Sitting on a plane the other day, I was chatting with my neighbor Arturo Izurieta, who is the director of the Charles Darwin Research Center in the Galapagos. We passed the time between late hours talking about the loss of large sharks in the Galapagos. Yet, it could have been anywhere. In future years will this anomaly of lacking wildlife be a permanent loss found within our birds and at our feeders? Will birds occasionally drop in to our feeders, as a grandparent does now, or will we have lost the same in large quantities due to our poisoning of the land or even a simple thing such as using 'lead in shot'....What will my Jonah, my James and my Amy view when they gain their years as easily as pounds? What will be your grandson's and daughters understanding of the same? What will be their anomaly in nature? Will it be nature itself, or perhaps it might be 'us' as humans....as our growing advancement in humanity appears to be steered to the lack of humanity, a loss of a race. We will become a blend of Artificial Intelligence and human.... We might have artificial hearts as well as mind as human organ creation moves ahead into a Brave New World. There will be those true 'humans' ....lost souls etched in the past, who remain one hundred percent human.....and abhor change to become this blend of human/chip. A human chip....an HC. No longer 100% human but a blend. But how much is a blend...80/20....50/50....20/80 and what about 0/100? Yet there they will sit, on the fence...watching humanity slowly shift towards an anomaly itself as these seemingly life forms of nature become a varied mix of chips and the like. As our earth evolves around our sun one too many times, even my grandkids in time, those who might elect to sit on the fence, hoping to remain human,....will die, as all living mass does. But their grandsons and daughters, my great or great great grandsons and daughters will gladly accept the only thing they know...whatever it might be at that time. For we only really accept what we know, right? Those who straddle the fence and between the posts, only last until their experiences fail to stretch to the deep and then, they vanish. A pure human will be an anomaly perhaps admired or lured to thought in history books alone. So the 'fence' will be moved into a no-man's land and pushed past who we are as selves.
View your birds....sparsity or not....relish their simple movement and complex migration....they are not yet quite an anomaly.