What If The Birds Leave, But Never Come Back?

I’m sure you’ll understand. It’s all part of the delicious rhythms of my morning routine.

Turn on my coffee maker, slip into my least ratty looking bathrobe, and venture forth onto my driveway for the papers. [Yes, papers, for even with all the flashy screens and scrolls at my disposal, my generation has an emotional attachment to anything you can fold]. But this time I notice something different. Something quite terrible.

There are no birds singing. Anywhere. The sun is still in the sky, the drone from nearby O’Hare Field continues, but nary a sparrow, wren or crow. I don’t know about you, but I notice the birds. Their warbling and wrangling among our Oaks and Maples is like the scenery to my morning drama out here. A play without scenery feels incomplete. So does a morning without birds.

Yes, yes, I know all about them flying South in winter, but some of them should already be back by now. My God…! What if they never come back…? The neighbors find my bath-robed study of the sky a little peculiar. But then, they often find me peculiar. This sudden obsession freezes me in place with a question that often haunts me. Maybe you too. “What if things never go back to before…??”

So much is taken for granted. Eyes and limbs to experience our world; taste and smell to enjoy our food; family and friends to know what love is; schools and careers to discover what purpose means. But really, how often do we put these things out on the table look at? That’s like asking how often do we count the breaths we take in a day.

We don’t. And that, fellow breathers, is why I stand here in my driveway searching the skies for my morning birds. Once you finally realize something is missing in your life, at last that’s when you feel their actual worth. Their enduring and indispensable worth to you.

And yes, you can feel this even standing here in a ratty looking bathrobe….

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