Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn’t people feel as free to delight in whatever remains to them? ~ Rose Kennedy
I never thought of myself as a bird lover. My feelings toward the creatures may have started in adolescence when I first read Poe’s “The Raven” then saw the dark movie with Peter Lorre. Quoth the raven, “Nevermore.” Then came Hitchcock’s “The Birds” where flocks invaded a peaceful California town bringing with them chaos and terror. For a short while after that I was repulsed by their reptilian quality. But slowly some birds flew into my life bringing with them a fascination, and more.
As I matured, I remember watching a lone hawk soar against a blue sky; my heart beat faster. I became awed with the sweeping silver V of snow geese overhead. After a dreary winter, the brilliant red of a cardinal in the oak tree, or a bright blue jay in the maple, brought wonder to my soul. I began to smile whenever I heard the first robin’s song in spring. Who could not?
Many years ago our young family moved from Wisconsin to southern Indiana. The winters there were warmer than our former northern home. One year I left a large hanging geranium on our side porch for the winter. Careless me; eventually a year-end cold spell hit and the plant died. In the early spring I found that a pair of grey mourning doves had nested in the planter. I suppose the dead plant made a ready-made nest for the doves. Each dawn when I went outside for the newspaper, I was greeted by intriguing coos. As the young chicks grew and finally flew away, our whole family was awed. Of course the next winter, I purposely left the hanging planter on the porch. We all smiled when the gentle pair returned to hatch another brood.
Years later a smaller bird came to visit our new home on the East coast. Our master bedroom sported a large arched window. The east-facing window didn’t allow for sleeping in. But for a while, it wasn’t the sun that roused us on weekends. One Saturday spring morning Tom and I woke to an odd sound. We were puzzled until we saw a yellow finch, tapping against the arched window. He came to visit regularly that spring, and the next as well. Tom named him “Yellow Bird” and for a few years he became a part of our lives. Yellow Bird, our happy little alarm clock.
Parrots, to me, are loud creatures, like an obnoxious drunken step-uncle in the bird family. I never thought a parrot might come into my life. Then several years ago, my youngest son created a funny series of animated videos about a pirate, Amish J. Pirate. And, as we all know, pirates have parrots. Arrghhh! Overnight, it seemed, I found myself strangely drawn to parrots.
Recently I’ve been searching for a new lamp. I didn’t want a novelty lamp, just the right-size traditional table lamp to put in the front window in my living room. For weeks I browsed in stores, in catalogs, and online. And I kept returning to one particular lamp described as a ginger jar ceramic hand-painted parrot lamp offered by Lamps Plus. No matter how many others I looked at, this one called to me. So I ordered a parrot lamp, the last in stock. A parrot lamp. So much for traditional. Arrrghhh!
My new lamp arrived today. Looking at it warms me. It makes me grin; I sense Tom’s smile, too. I guess there’s something to be said for parrots.