Birds are chirping outside our front door this morning. They nest in the river birch trees that create a barrier between our front yard and the neighbor’s front yard.
Then, because the little birdies feel so safe, they like to flit and hop around on our bushes, concrete bench, front stoop. Sometimes they even look in the window at me.
They are cute, but not all that melodic. No surprise. They are little birdies whose primary purpose in life is to build nests and procreate. And to not get eaten by the neighborhood cats. I’m sure that figures into their nest-building.
I find their presence outside my front door to be the most immediate and clearcut sign that Spring is here. Last week, Winter. This week, Spring. The change of seasons happens quickly and easily in this part of the world with Daylight Savings Time underscoring what is already going on naturally.
I find March, and the shift into Spring, as inspiring and focusing as New Year’s Day. For me, this is the time of year to start new things. To say: “Today I will begin ______.” And then go out and do it. Rather like NY resolutions, without the formality and fuss, but with the follow-thru.
So with that in mind I plan to start anew today. To follow the lead of the little birdies who are happy as can be doing their own thing. To embrace change. And growth. And adventure. And fun.
Kind of a bittersweet week for me. Endings: small, medium & large.
Our tomato and pepper plants are at the end of their growth cycles. I doubt that we’ll get more than a handful of tomatoes– or a couple of peppers– before the fall chill kills the plants. It happens every year this way; I’m always surprised. This year the difference is that the other day I noticed two chickadees goofing around in the tomato plants. At first I thought that they were after the tomatoes, but as I kept watching I realized that what the birds wanted is the cotton string that we use, with the wooden stakes, to hold up the plants. They were pulling on the cotton string with their beaks, but unable to get it lose. So I decided that when I dismantle the tomato plants later this month I’ll cut the used cotton string into lengths and leave it out on the deck railing. Maybe the chickadees will use the cotton string to make their nests. We’ll see.
Zen-Den and I have very few traditions. We don’t do the same thing for any holiday. There are no “but we always do this” restrictions on us. It comes from being on our own for so long– and from not having kids, I suspect. That being said, every September we look forward to our first drive into the countryside to go to a small, locally owned apple orchard that has the best apples ever. So this last weekend we got into the car and went out there, all excited about our first apple foray of the year. But when we got to the orchard, it was closed; a sign out front said: “Semi-Retired. Closed for Season. Be back Summer of 2012.” And with that, our one tradition went *poof* and we found ourselves apple-less in the countryside. Humph.
As you probably know, All My Children ends this week. I still can’t quite wrap my head around this. I grew up around AMC– first at a friend’s house, where her mother was addicted to it; and then at my house, once my mother retired from teaching. The fact that my Mom, the happy hermit, watched a soap opera never made much sense to me; but she said that it gave her day structure and that Erica reminded her so much of her freshman year college roommate that she couldn’t not watch it. In fact, she watched it every day until her death fifteen years ago.
So here’s the odd thing: even though I never became a fan of the show, I realize that I’m going to miss it. Knowing that AMC was always on TV gave me a feeling of immediate connection with my mother. Rational? Not in the least. But it’s what I’ve kept tucked away in the back of my mind all these years. Of course, now with the end of All My Kids, that last connection will be gone. Forever.
Life’s busy now. More chit-chat next week, gentle readers. Talk at ‘ya then.