So I’m sitting on the front stoop this morning having a cigarette and a cup of coffee
surrounded by so much misty grey gloom that I felt like I’d been swallowed up by a cloud and thinking about how bland-and-cold-and-dull everything is, when something completely unexpected happened.
A bird, swooping in from above me and to the right, raced across my field of vision and landed in the Crabapple tree directly in front of me.
Ordinarily, I wouldn’t give such an occurrence a second thought – birds are everywhere around here – but the one thing they all have in common is the common-ness of their colors: brown Robins, brown Titmice, grey pigeons, black crows.
Boring. Boring. Boring.
On Winter mornings like this – when there’s no snow on the ground – everything blends into either one of two colors: a shade of Brown or a shade of Grey.
But not this Bird!
It comes flying in with flaming red hair, bold black and white striped wings and a gleaming white belly that shocks the Hell out of all of us.
Us being me and the three dozen or so miscellaneous plain birds gathered around the base of the tree kicking and poking around for something to eat – none of us knows what to make of this rare flier.
I’ve lived in this area for a long time and never in my life have I seen one like this.
But I’m glad I did today.
He didn’t stay but maybe 30 seconds or so – just long enough to poke his long, pointy beak into the trunk of the tree in a few spots, swivel his head to the left and right a few times (checking for cats, I figured) – then he darted away as quickly and unexpectedly as he’d arrived.
I savored every second it spent in front of my eyes.
It was such a pleasure to see an unexpected shock of color against an otherwise dreary canvas – particularly when you have an acute sense the experience will be short-lived.
It didn’t occur to me until later in the morning that sometimes people blaze across our paths too – colorful, bold, one-of-a-kind – and then fly away from us as quickly as they came, leaving long lingering memories in their wake – the kind of memories that a thousand dull birds never can.
**Originally Posted on 22 Dec 2017**