Lucia has something to say

Friday, May 25, 2007


I’d already been thinking about it. Letting a single word come to the fore. After reading Strange Piece of Paradise. In which a woman goes to investigate her attempted murder. By axle and axe. In a tent. Many years before. And she starts to notice. The word ax. Or axe. And images of axes. Everywhere.

Then I was reading the blog. Of the illustrious Nancy Dancehall.

And she said:
Your assignment, if you chose to accept it, is to pay close attention to birds for the next week. Watch them in nature, of course. But also watch for them to turn up in songs, in images, in dreams even.
So I started to watch for birds. There are all the usual yard birds. Purple finches. And chickadees. And sparrows by the score. Sitting on the power lines. Swooping to the feeders. One of my corgi’s primary activities is herding. Birds. Out of the tree and back again.

A purple finch with a red head lands outside my office window. When I lived in Ecuador, seeing a red bird meant good luck. So I smiled. And took it as a good omen. From a bird messenger.

I notice books on my shelf - Blackbird House, The Hummingbird’s Daughter. And small birds painted on the back of a fan of a Japanese ceramic in my back yard. Do I flit or do I soar? Do I chirp or do I sing?

Mine are the birds of northern climes. Not the bright birds of the tropics.

And I remember. The birds of Africa. Birds come to the feeder in Kenya in a blaze of primary color. Blue. Yellow. Red. African gray parrots and crowned cranes grace the hotel on the shores of Lake Kivu in Rwanda. Uganda. Ethiopia. Cameroon. Madagascar. Birds without geopolitical boundaries. Birds without. Free birds.


Blogger St. Dickeybird said...


*said while rubbing my chin*

7:35 AM  
Blogger Heather Plett said...

I left a little present for you at my blog. :-)

8:43 AM  
Blogger Susan as Herself said...

I am not a huge fan of caged birds, but I love all wild birds. I miss having a yard where I can set up feeders.

I always keep a close eye out for cardinals---the red males and yellowish-brown females. They are my favorite songbird.

I cannot imagine a world without birds.

9:11 AM  
Blogger thailandchani said...

Likewise, caging birds seems really weird to me.. like they are little living beings who exist for our entertainment?



9:36 AM  
Blogger meno said...

Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd. I'll be humming that the rest of the day.

12:32 PM  
Blogger QT said...

I am a nerdy birder, so I notice birds all the time. It is one of the reasons I am so envious of your trips! What a life list you must have amassed by now.

I have 5 finch feeders, 3 regular feeders full of sunflower seeds, a bird bath, and two suet feeders. This year, for the first time, I saw an Indigo Bunting. The goldfinches and cardinals are the regulars.

1:04 PM  
Blogger Lynnea said...

Me and Meno - same mind.

I hadn't considered the magnificent birds you would see on your travels.

I like to talk to birds when I garden. I like to think they might understand me.

2:59 PM  
Blogger KC said...

Mindfulness is so powerful.

5:26 AM  
Blogger Girlplustwo said...

i have a friend, Lucia, who has basically discarded the trappings of this world. he lives in minimal comfort, his footprint tiny. he does his small part, helps others.

but the rest of the time he watches birds. the ordinary birds, the ones we see every day. and he never fails to point out something unique in them. i've always, always, loved that about him.

9:08 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

"A purple finch with a red head lands outside my office window. When I lived in Ecuador, seeing a red bird meant good luck. So I smiled. And took it as a good omen. From a bird messenger."

I love the ideas and superstitions surrounding birds. Thanks for telling me about this one, and your own story along with it.

10:14 PM  

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