Morning Letters

Watch Birds and Savour Books

This morning I finished reading the last 10 pages of Birds, Art, Life by Kyo Maclear. For the last few days, I’ve held onto these pages so the book wouldn’t come to the end. Do you have books that you savour?

Birds and books always catch my attention.

Yesterday I watched two female cardinals and a male cardinal in the apple blossom tree out my front window. Some days it’s crows, cawing first to say hello, I’m here and then performing air acrobats above the tree line. Lately, chickadees peek in the windows, likely wondering why I’m still in the house.

Driving usually involves counting hawks or turkey vultures, reflecting on the timing of their appearances and wondering what it means. Birds bring me joy. Understanding. Direction.

My childhood nickname was bird, apparently for exaggerated and distinctive dance moves in my playpen as a toddler during every episode of ‘HeeHaw.’

One winter, I joined a local bird-watching club. We drove in a line of cars and vans to various trails and fields in the Northumberland area. Sometimes standing on the side of the road we watched the sky while the more experienced birders released intricate bird calls into the breeze.

Last night I dreamed of an iridescent blue-throated hummingbird. She hovered for a while so I could take her picture, sparkling blue and green more vibrant than any photo I’ve seen.

Throughout the spring and summer on walks I spotted feathers nearly every day. This week I learned that feathers can be signals, different feathers deliver different messages.

Soon after moving into this house, I declared it was a bird house. Birds have a presence in every room in some way, connecting with the vibrant life of birds in the yard and neighbourhood. A community of birds is another benefit of living near Lake Ontario.

There is abundance in birds and books.

Last night I finished watching ‘Pretend It’s a City’ on Netflix. Fran Lebowitz spoke about how everyone can be rich with books. There are always more books to read and books are accessible to everyone–this is abundance, she explained.

Every room in my house has books (despite my annual efforts to purge). I love the idea of being a minimalist yet it’s always in tension with my love of things, especially books. I like to hold a book in my hand, see them stacked on the corner of my desk, surround myself with the energy of words and paper.

The other day I was researching for a poem and it led me to books. The book I wanted most was available as an eBook. I opened up ‘Books’ on my iPad, looked at the option to buy this eBook that offered the research I needed most, then walked away wondering how I could make sure it doesn’t get lost. How would I see it if I forgot about it being in an app? It’s not the same as a book waiting on the counter.

I find it hard to resist buying books, unless they are eBooks. eBooks I can resist.

So let’s raise a cup of tea today to watching birds and savouring books.

Dear A can be a letter to Anyone, All, the Alpha and Omega, Audience, Alter Ego, Angel, Artistry…

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