Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ode to a Goldfinch

And a Cardinal, and a Chickadee and a Nuthatch and a Dark-eyed Junco...

It is a wild morning at the Marek household!  As I was upstairs writing in my journal, the sky was just getting light, and I heard a tap-tap-tap-tap on the windows downstairs.  I couldn't, for the life of me, figure out what it was. Hollywood scenes of someone standing outside a bedroom window tossing pebbles to get the occupant's attention came to mind.  But who would be calling for me?

Squirrels, I assumed.  Naturally, they're annoyed with me because I haven't been as diligent at filling their feeder (yep, that's right...they have their own feeder!) this week as they'd like, so they will pillage every other feeder within their reach.  The sock-feeder full of thistle that hangs in the front tree over the raingarden has more holes in it than I can count, where they've drained it on the ground for their gaggle of buddies waiting below -- it's their first choice when their feeder is empty.


It's not like they'd be knocking on the door or anything, but there's another feeder outside the front window and I figured they must be having a good old time swinging on that and banging it into the window.  They can wait, I told myself and kept on writing.  A few minutes later, I set my notebook down and sat up to meditate.


Well, that's soothing.  But I kept on meditating.  Whatever's going on would wait.


Fine.  Go feed the squirrels for crying out loud.  I wrangled the sleeping Trooper, and we headed TAP down TAP stairs TAP...only to find a Cardinal flying at the window over and over and over again touching nothing but the tip of his beak to the glass and flying away.

Huh?  Clearly, someone -- or something -- is trying to get my attention.

Trooper and I tromped to the basement, went outside in full force and filled every feeder, filled the bird bath, filled the sock feeder (after patching the new holes) and hung it up in the front tree, watered the mums for good measure and headed back in the house.  I started to get breakfast going.


I walked out into the living room to find at least fifty birds frolicking through the front trees, the front feeders, the raingarden.  It's a regular bird-party out here this morning!

So I sat in my chair at the window (with my camera of course, although pictures with a point and shoot through a window...not so great...) and just watched the fun, smiling in wonder all the while.  Darting here and there, chasing each other, stopping for refreshments.  And then, there were...wait for it...
...Robins?  I don't recall Robins this late in the fact, I haven't seen them in months.  Must be passing through?

And the goldfinches, who have lost their color, have been steady at the window feeder, and frankly the only birds I've been seeing for the past week or so playing around the raingarden in the afternoons when I get home from work.  Love, love, love them!

How often do we have grand plans for our day, get distracted and stop paying attention to what is, literally, just outside our window?  I looked up Cardinal in one of my other favorite animal books, Animal Spirit Guides by Steven Farmer.  Cardinal says, "Stop right where you are, observe your surroundings, then notice the sensations in your body."

Let's see...what had I done?  Stop, watch, snap pictures, watch, laugh, smile.  Yep, Cardinal got it right.  Pure joy.  Can't beat that.

This morning, I had a yoga class to go to, chores to catch up on, important...

Apparently, there was nothing more important for me to do this morning than to witness the bird party, join in their fun, experience the joy of stillness and wonder...and then write about it.

How do I know?

My friend, the Cardinal, hasn't tapped on my window since...//

What's For Dinner Tonight?
Tonight, I plan to hang out with my grandma (86 years young) do some chores, work on some paperwork, and have dinner at her (our) absolute favorite bar and grill in the cities...Bunny's in St. Louis Park.

It's really the weekend breakfasts that have solidified our tradition of going there...a free bloody mary, screwdriver or juice with your meal.  It's not something we do often -- perfect on those cold winter mornings when a nap and football (him) and a book (her) are the only major undertakings on the schedule -- but when we get the whole family together on a weekend morning, sitting at one of their big round tables, talking and carrying on and partaking in a little eggs benedict with home fries (my personal choice), well, it's good times.

I imagine tonight, we'll split a burger...and, of course, eat our fill of some free popcorn!

Enjoy your day!

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