Yesterday, I was reminded of this quote from Thoreau (a quote I’ve actually shared before):
“The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little star-dust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched.”
It wasn’t a rainbow, although I’ve seen my fair share of beautiful ones here, but as I was driving up my hill I caught a flash of yellow. I stopped the car and this beautiful Iittle goldfinch was sitting on the branch of a shrub right by the driveway, then 2 more flew over and the three of them went flying off together. I would have loved to get a photo, but I didn’t dare move and startle them. Besides, sometimes it’s okay to not have a picture but simply a memory, like a delicious little secret between Nature and me. I see lots of birds in my yard, but it’s very rare to see goldfinches and never that close. It was just such a perfect little unexpected moment as I went about my day. True harvest indeed.
Sometimes I wish I had nothing to do but sit out here on the porch in the sun all day and watch and listen to the birds. There’s quite a symphony of birdsong going on, and a cute little chickadee just flew close by. I may not have the biggest fanciest house or the means to travel very far, but dang, I’ve got one of the best seats in the place to watch this special show Nature puts on, and I’m grateful for it.
I love watching the birds outside my window. The cardinal, chickadee, tufted titmouse, Eastern bluebird, nuthatch, robin, a variety of woodpeckers and finches, hummingbird, dove, bluejay, sparrow, and joree seem to be the most common visitors to my yard, though there are the occasional others. I suppose I shouldn’t say ‘visitor’ since some of them live and raise their families right here in my trees and shrubs and are as at home here as I am. There’s definitely something comforting and cozy about looking out at the birds that share my little corner of this earth and listening to their sounds and songs. That makes me happy, and today our country gives them special honor on National Bird Day.
“When Nature made the bluebird, she wished to propitiate both the sky and the earth, so she gave him the color of the one on his back and the hue of the other on his breast.” (John Burroughs)
I love this quote because it combines two of my favorite things — bluebirds and John Burroughs! John Burroughs, for those not familiar, was a nature writer born in the 1830s, friend to Walt Whitman and John Muir, and his book “Accepting the Universe” is one of my top five favorite books ever. To me, it seems about the nearest thing to a Pantheist “Bible” there is. Even though it was written so many years ago, it’s still relevant today, and each sentence I read seems to eloquently echo my own thoughts and feelings.
(public domain photo)
This Eastern bluebird that lives in my neck of the woods has to be one of the most glorious creatures of Nature I’ve personally ever seen. Its brilliant flash of color takes my breath away, and I consider myself lucky to catch a glimpse of one. I have a bluebird house in my yard again, and it’s February, the time they come around scouting for nesting places, so maybe I’ll be fortunate enough to see some bluebirds this spring, maybe even a little family.