The Bird’s Advice
I suppose it is foolish to stand in this doorway.
After all, I have seen the photographs of nature’s recent fury, destruction hateful and horrible to behold. I can imagine the well-coiffed local weatherman in my mind’s eye, his scowl an indication of his extreme disappointment in the disregard I am paying to his warnings of late. “Stay inside, away from windows and doors”, I hear him chant, over and over again.
Meaning him no disrespect, I have chosen to take my advice from the birds who are, even now, flitting and frolicking in the face of a wind that whips through the garden like a toreador’s cape. Clearly unafraid, they ride on great gusts that are swelling and swirling down through the maples and up from the blue salvia beds, a whirlpool of wind that sounds like a major key symphony from nature herself.
A few fat raindrops hit the ground beneath the lamppost. Like fresh fallen eggs, they plop and they splatter, one here, one there, heralds of the legion soon to follow.
Then the storm takes a deep breath, a pause before the water falls white from the skies. The birds play in earnest now, robins splashing through puddles, crows dancing with needles blown free from the pines.
Suddenly, the wind finds me in my place at the door. It ruffles my collar and grabs hold of my hair. It brings me the fragrance of clean laundry, of beach sand, of cedar. Thirsty for its wildness, I close my eyes and drink it in.
It occurs to me then, I am just like my father. He who never heeded the bad weather warnings, making his way instead, in haste, to the nearest open window, the closest way outside, to stand awestruck in the face of a storm. Did he, like his daughter, sometimes long to shed the quotidian cloak of domesticity and become one with the unanswerable freedom flying fast past his door?
Did he occasionally take advice from the birds?
painting above: Arthur Rackham