Boxes are piled high, and I still don’t have an uncluttered surface for my papers. But I’m finally here. In a room of my own where I can write.
I moved into my new house a week ago. And each morning, while brewing coffee, I watched a branch on an overgrown tree tap the window in my kitchen. Each morning I also heard another tap on the window in my adjacent office. I assumed the source of the sound was the same. But a couple of days ago, when I looked up from my computer, I saw a little yellow and brown bird repeatedly fly back and forth from the tree to my house and bang its little body into my porch window.
My heart stopped when I saw her. Don’t hurt yourself! The windows are new and undoubtedly the cleanest they’ll ever be. Poor little bird – she looked like a baby – must have been practicing her flying. Must have assumed my window was part of the big beyond only to smack headlong into my glass. Each time I held my breath until I saw her boomerang safely back to her perch, afraid she’d drop instead to the ground.
This morning though both my kitchen and office were silent. No little bird. It rained hard the last few days and winter has finally arrived in the South. Perhaps she’s flown away for the winter, I thought, afraid to look on the ground outside my porch door.
Before settling in Savannah three years ago, I lived in New York City for over 30 years. I rarely saw the sky, let alone birds. Certainly never heard them sing. If you’d asked, I’d probably have said that birdwatchers were surely boring people. If you’ve seen one bird, haven’t you seen them all?
When I planted residence in Savannah, however, I had trouble tearing myself away from my second-floor porch in the morning, mesmerized by the chorus of songbirds outside my screen door. One afternoon I met a retired amateur photographer named Ron in Starbucks, became Facebook friends, and began following his glorious nature and bird photography online. And last week when I moved, I sheepishly realized that one of the hardest adjustments I’d have to make would be tearing myself away from the joy of listening and watching to the birds outside from my porch.
And then little yellow bird appeared in my garden. And this morning she was suddenly gone! Little bird, little bird, in the cinnamon tree. A song I sang in high school chorus came back to me. A bunch of creepy men sing the song to Dulcina in Man of La Mancha. Stop trying to be Don Quixote, my lawyer kept telling me in Brooklyn family court all those years ago when I tried – and failed – to save my marriage. The loss of marriage, family, home and so much more was the reason I’d ultimately left New York and moved to Georgia. But that’s another story, for another day.
Because suddenly my little bird has come back this morning! And for an hour or more I watched her glide from branch to branch. And not once fly into my window. Perhaps she too is learning.
Can you see her?