Saturday, March 24, 2007

Worth Waiting For

I cannot wait for Spring - to see a field of daffodils, to smell the lilacs and gaze at unfurling peonies. To walk in warmth of morning light and hear the songs of migrant birds.

The best things are worth waiting for and sadly sometimes are most appreciated because they move on. The daffodils fade then disappear, the lilacs flowers drop and the bushes become monotone and the birds go north, or west, to fulfil their lives.

If all stayed, if none faded, they would be dismissed like we filter out pigeons and (even sadder) the homeless. One must experience most intensely, must covet and anticipate most, that one cannot truly harness. Whether it be animal, vegetable and never mineral.

The best things are worth waiting for and need to be appreciated fully while still in our midst. One should not be saddened because their wonder is ephemeral, one must exalt this brief half life that is a shared sacred experience. A blessing, if I am allowed to use a cliche.

I seldom have walked away from a magnificent bird. Something rare or beautiful due to light, surrounding or my mood. The most wondrous creatures move on to fulfil their lives and we, I and you are left me better for the brief meeting.

Ten minutes can be paradise. Twenty minutes must be treasured and remembered.

I miss Central Park. I used to bird there winter, spring and fall and know the area around the Ramble as if it were my back yard.

Recently a friend showed me a black and white photograph. It was of a couple who got married in the park and with almost no background visible I recognized it as the Shakespeare Garden. A magical spot in spring and in summer. I birded the area often and a wonderful place to marry if you are brave enough to face the uncertainty of weather. You have to respect anyone who does - who will gamble and trust fate on the most important day of their lives. Guts and luck. A wonderful combination. A magical location. Kudos.

I have had good luck in Shakespeare Garden. Walked through with good friends and saw great birds there. Most sighting are part of my subconscious, but I remember gazing there at a yellow breasted chat. The chat is the largest North American warbler and relatively rare in this far north. That bird worked a small ornamental cherry for over an hour looking for insects among the small pink flowers and light green budding leaves. The day, mid day, was magnificent. I remember we left the bird there. We had hoped it would fly away since it was so hard to leave something so special.

I think we left it. That almost never happens. It has not happened with a chat again. Have not even seen another.

I know perfection when I see it. I know that my time near wonder is limited. Every second I watched that chat was treasured. There are quiet kind moments out there that are even more memorable. A chat, the air, a moment.

I am so thankful for each minute. Before true rare wonders take flight. They always do, mostly.

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