Little Bird

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?
Little Bird

Tags: Beginning again · Birds · Birdwatching · Flight · Flying · Little Bird · Man of La Manch · New York City · Omithology · Savannah · Starting Over · The South



4 responses so far:

  • Ron Dixon – Dec 11, 2017 at 10:49 AM

    Congratulations on your new home! Naturally, I loved your little yellow and brown bird story. I’m curious as to what type bird yours is and there are many, many yellow and brown songbirds. I’m not a “birder” I just like to take their pictures, so I’m no expert on identification. Does he look like this bird? I took this picture three weeks ago at the Savannah Wildlife Refuge so I know that the Palm Warbler is in the area. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1761390757228478&set=p.1761390757228478&type=3&theater
  • Admin – Dec 11, 2017 at 4:20 PM

    It could be the Palm Warbler! My little bird flits about so fast it’s hard to see him/her! Folks this is the bird photographer mentioned in my story. Behold another of his glorious photographs. Thanks Ron!
  • Peggy – Dec 12, 2017 at 2:50 PM

    Dear Beverly, I am sorry for your losses. I am sorry for your tears. I am glad we have re-connected. I have been at the bottom too and know the sorrows and pains. I appreciate your sharing your stories of loss, new beginnings, learnings and journey – you are brave, courageous and kind. . . I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a very happy new year. . . Love to you and yours always, Peggy Sue Long Pigg xo
  • John Doe – Mar 29, 2018 at 1:57 PM

    Nice article


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" Ostensibly about the break-up of her marriage and loss of her dream house, a four-story Victorian brownstone in Brooklyn's Carroll Gardens neighborhood, Beverly Willett's absorbing memoir is really about finding a home in one's own skin. A delight."

Courtney Hargrave, Author of Burden: A Preacher, A Klansman and a True Story of Redemption in the Modern South, a major motion picture starring Forest Whitaker

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