Ah, Robin

A little while back, a friend and I reconnected for the first time since college. In our exchanges of calls and notes, I shared this:

“The early bird catches the worm, they say. And when I was growing up, it was always said to make us believe that in order to be ambitious and successful, one must be an early riser. Later in life, I realized it was also a folksy way to identify the robin who is compelled by his nature to sing up the sun and eat worms (the latter of which may be observed at whatever time of day he’s hungry). This makes the robin no more ambitious than the eagle I once watched roosting in a dark fir, preening and stretching her wings as the sun touched them. I am more like the eagle in this regard. While I love listening to the robin as I slowly wake up and consider my dreams, he and I have different jobs to do and different diets.”

Today was my most favorite of Spring days. I woke to robin song and a blanching sky. Because the sun rises earlier and earlier, I relished song and sky, the groggy satisfaction of a full night’s sleep, and plans for the day before swinging my feet out of bed. Yes, thank you, and still only 6:30.

Overnight rain blessed the garden. Enough to darken the mulch and wash the sky into a kept promise of sweetness. I tucked plants, thinned from a client’s garden, into the mammoth parking median before leaving in plenty of time for work. Clouds fleeced the summit of our mountain. The wind stayed calm to gently breezing. I was comfy in an old cotton sweater from Willie walk to Willie walk. Sweaters like this and days like this are like the best of friends.

If there is a name for this character of Spring, I’d call it Forsythia. She is in cheerful, abundant array. All around her, just opened leaves and swelling flower buds haze most other branches, and the scale has tipped toward Summer. This is the day we understand that summer will win the wrestling match.

Taking a different route to my usual Thursday garden, I passed a redbud in full bloom. What is that color? The center of chocolate covered cherries, raspberry sherbet, cassis meringue. I can’t quite put my tongue on it. Even so, I pulled over and alerted two friends by phone. Something so delicious is even better shared.

In our own back yard, ruddy and jagged leaves point toward earth along the arching branches of the room-sized cotoneaster. Willie barked a tall coyote down the sidewalk at dawn, then stayed outside to make sure he didn’t return. Yes, thank you, a Forsythia day, which robin sang into being.


8 thoughts on “Ah, Robin

  1. How sweet to read your last two pieces (and Willie news too). Here the wind has been howling this week and bringing first the autumn gales from the northwest, followed by clearing sweeps of brisk southerlies (from Antarctica?) It’s caps and gloves and the big comforter is on the bed. Well maybe that has more to do with creaky sore old joints. Time to plant daffodils here so I may have trumpets to herald the arrival of Spring come October or November. Blessings…

    • Oh, isn’t it wonderful that someone figured out how to get the bulbs to change hemispheres? Yes, southerlies from the ice makes sense. Continue the embrace, love.

  2. Do you know Claudia Schmidt’s “Ode to Forsythia”? I used to sing it to the kids whenever I saw a blooming forsythia when we were driving out and about. Then when we bought the house we’re in, there was a bush we couldn’t identify (it being September) and when it burst into yellow in April, I called Brynne and sang that into her voice mail – no message in words – and she knew exactly what I meant.

    The piece is totally worth looking up!

    Thanks for your glorious word pictures.

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