The Early Bird

June 12, 2005 - 12:00am -- swingbug

Kirkwood is melting. The tops of the mountain are still blanketed in old snow. You might even still be able to make some of the runs from the top, if you were adventurous and not overly fond of your skis.

But down at the base, water is running everywhere. The sound of it is in your ears wherever you go. Rushing rivulets push there way out from under dirty piles of old snow and cut through the newly exposed brown earth. Rivulets meets and become streams, and streams meet and become rivers, rushing off to wherever they go. Down to a valley, I suppose. Just like me.

Standing out on the balcony this morning, a watched a flock of little birds throwing a party. There were dozens of them swooping through the air, maybe a hundred. Little, fat, brown birds with white tummies, flying so close to the ground that they were indistinguishable from their shadows and it seemed as though there were twice as many. They all swirled around a little puddle, taking turns to dive in and splash around with their little wings flapping around like crazy. Taking a bath, having a drink, maybe catching a worm. A bird party.

Just below the balcony, a little ground squirrel pushed his way up into the sunshine. He emerged quickly and set about some doorstep cleaning, moving around his little bits of earth. Then he hopped onto a grassy spot and had a quick bath, with his thin, little tail thumping madly around him. That done, he stretched up on his hind legs and did a little nose dive, rubbing his head against the ground and rolling around on his back, showing me his tummy. Hooray for sunshine. I agree.

Presently, another little squirrel showed up on the opposite bank of the little creek. She paced back and forth looking for a place to cross. The stream wasn't so big really. I could have stepped across the narrow places. But she was having a rougher time of it and the water was moving fast. As I sat there contemplating how long it might take her to tunnel under the stream she surprised me completely and leapt neatly across. My friend, the sun bather, noticed her now. She dashed away, following the water and he pursued. Friends or enemies, off on a new adventure.

Can I share with you one of my favorite poems?

The Early Bird by Shel Silverstein
If you're a bird, be an early bird
And catch the worm for your breakfast plate
Oh, if you're a bird, be an early bird
But if you're a worm, sleep late