Sunday, March 30, 2008

They're Back!

As I round the bend of my daily walk I gaze upon the small lake in which my housing addition is built around. I take the wooden path through the heart of the marsh where recently the geese have returned to find new mates. The ducks call out as we pass. I remove my ear buds drowning out the music and focusing on my natural surroundings. I have seen this lake move through the seasons. In the fall I saw the beautiful fall leaves be a backdrop to my little pond. During the winter I gazed at the snow as it fell silently upon the water. The snow, catching on the marsh grasses and reeds laid in little clumps that caught my ever gazing eye. In my mind, in my gazing, I always remembered the red winged blackbirds as they used to sit balancing on the marsh's reeds. Their shrill calls notified all the others that I was present. They disappeared in November, like Floridian grandparents, I longed for their return.

In Indiana we have many different kinds of birds that still stay throughout the winter. The Cardinal, the state bird, stays for most of the winter, although it seems like they disappear during those frigid February months. The Juncos, the sparrows, and the finches all stay if you feed them. The finches change color throughout the year, like a chameleon they change with the seasons. But, the Red-Winged Blackbird, leaves and returns only truly when spring has arrived. My grandmother and I have always had a conversation about this breed of bird. We always remind each other that spring has not arrived until we see the first Red-Winged Blackbird.

Today, as I rounded the bend to the marsh, I heard their call. At first I was stunned by the difference in their call. Then my gaze searched for their bright red wing patches. I searched the tops of trees, and then my gaze fell to the top of a pussy willow out in the wetlands. There sitting, balancing really on its top was my promise of spring. My heart lifted! My spirit, beaten down from the doom and gloom of winter soared with the birds. My step got lighter as I raced home to tell my family!

"They're back!!!!" I shouted when I raced through the door! My family just stared at their crazy mother.

"Who? Who's back?" they said at once.

"I saw them today, the red-winged blackbirds! They're back to spend the summer with us!" I said.

You see like Floridian grandparents returning in the spring, so are the Red-Winged Blackbirds returning the promise of spring.

Welcome Back, we're so glad you've arrived!
(go here to hear the sound of the Red-Winged Blackbird)

1 comment:

Jen Barney said...

Can't wait to see them as we watch for them by your window.

Thanks for all your support this past week. Mason's on and off- today was a better day.

Call me and we will have to do coffee. Talk at you later!