Sunday, March 14, 2010
Well, it is mud season here in the great Northeast of the U.S.A. Winter's back is finally broken and we have tumbled into the rainy, raw month of March.
Last week when Mac, Rigby and I went for a late afternoon walk, we turned a corner and were confronted by a squadron of about a hundred blackbirds filling a dormant maple tree, squawking and jockeying for position on the bare branches. A little further on, another dark cloud of them, mostly Grackles, descended on the neighborhood. They are dark and mostly non-descript, while some sport pale, yellow eyes or deeply wedged, boat-tails. They are suddenly everywhere. The Swallows may not be returning to Capistrano with such faithful resolve, but the grackles have not let us down.
Now it is getting difficult to find the Juncos, the little slate-colored birds with the snow-white bellies that ply the ground under the hedgerows and patrol the weedy margins of the yard. Some folks call them "Snowbirds" because they seem to follow the cold. I saw one yesterday, all alone, looking as if he he was trying to find a flock to fly north with, now that these clacking, squeaky invaders had landed.
A big storm rolled up the east coast on Friday and had been soaking us with waves of cold rain all this weekend. Last night, gales buffeted the trees and rooftops throughout the night, and the Charles river has come up out of its banks today. Despite the seemingly nasty weather, I can feel the gray blanket of my seasonal depression lifting off my shoulders and something like enthusiasm for life budding inside me at my core. I feel like I am waking up from a soul coma. This evening's twilight will be the longest coming since last fall when we moved the clocks back. Last night the time sprung ahead again, and I almost forgot about it. I remembered just in time to avoid missing Mass this morning.
This afternoon, Mac came into the kitchen where I was concocting a savory stew for dinner, and announced that there was a Cardinal out on the top of the sycamore tree in the side yard, "...singing his brain out."
He wondered out loud why the bird seemed so happy, considering the weather we are enduring this weekend.
"It's because he knows that the best weather is coming now!" I said to him, as I dropped a handful of celery into the pot.
That bird knows the winter is over and he's full of joy because of it; So am I!