I visit the lakeshore on my own, to listen to the water and the wind in the trees, and to sit upon earth and pine needles again. I go for solitude and quiet, to be with my thoughts, and to open myself to what the sky and the leaves should care to share.
Birds! There are more of them than I ever saw. And such a variety of songs!
I see a brown-headed cowbird, of fluffy feathers, bouncing gently on a branch, issuing again and again a piercing call. A gaggle of red-winged blackbirds squabble and beat the trees above my head, louder than my children in a fight. A bird flashes past, dressed in iridescent blacks, with one yellow epaulet at its shoulder. And the tiny brown one, smaller than any I have seen, what is its name?
I have always loved birds, always nodded curtly at them, taken the long-way round in order not to disturb them, and sighed with awe at the most colorful of their kind. But I had never noticed so many of them, such a variety, in my vicinity.
Surely this same little stretch of forest, tripping up the dune to this same little bit of beach cannot have changed so much in the past few weeks.
No, it’s me, I changed.
Ever since Chiqui fancied himself a birdwatcher, a few weeks ago, and we have studied books with pictures and apps with songs; ever since he began a list of birds we have sighted, which he carries in his pocket; ever since I began teasing him gently when he bragged about seeing bird after bird of impossible species, right in our backyard… something changed for me.
I have learned from him. And so, I see more. And this quiet visit to the lake is richer than it ever was before.
So I stop to remind myself, as it goes amongst the trees, so does it go along the path I call my life.