“I realized that if I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes.”
When I recently expressed regret at my paucity of posts, Benjamin asked why I couldn’t just post pictures. “Don’t you think your readers would like that?” he said.
Good question. After all, when I resumed writing on my blog after my recent hiatus, I promised to write shorter posts. A quick scroll down the page reveals just how well I’ve lived up to that promise. Yep, I’m as long-winded as ever.
It seems I still struggle with believing that my more modest writing efforts are worth posting. Sure, I’ve written stuff, but I couldn’t bring myself to post it. Same thing with posting just pictures. I do okay with my point-and-shoot, I reckon, but anyone that reads blogs regularly knows just how many blog photographers out there are professional level. I am often in awe of the photos I see on blogs, so I start feeling shy about posting nothing but my sometimes comparatively blurry pictures.
Why is it so hard not to compare yourself with others?
Last week, something happened that knocked us all for a loop. I don’t want to get into it here, but suffice to say, it brought back memories that we thought were long buried. Heartbreaking, hurtful memories.
I did what I always do when I’m sad—I went outside. When I stepped out on the porch, our yard was full of robins. Probably at least a hundred or more. I love robins. Sure, maybe they’re not the brightest birds in the biosphere, but I love the way they hop. Hop. Hophophophop. Peck ground for worm. Hop.
So I sat on the porch and watched them hop for a while. Hop. Hop. Peck. Hophophop. Peck. Hop. Hophophop. Pretty soon, my fists unclenched, my breathing slowed, and I wasn’t thinking of a thing but the hophophop of the robins in my yard. And I realized just how therapeutic birds are for me. They calm me—whether I’m watching them hop, admiring the grace of their flight, or laughing at the way they splash with abandon in our birdbath.
So, thank you, my avian friends. Thank you, hophophopping robins. Thank you, little sparrows splashing so happily in puddles on the porch. Thank you, bluebird, who left me that pretty feather by the back fence. Thank you, goldfinches, for the way you perch on my coneflowers to eat seeds, steady even after the coneflower bends with your weight. I promise to plant even more flowers and shrubs next year, so all of you will have seeds and berries to eat in the leaner months.
It’s the least I can do for friends like you.
“Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.”
Henry Van Dyke