lundi, juin 26, 2006

On the road with somebody's baby

It's been a crazy week here on the Wet Coast. Some strange weather system stalled over us has meant that we've gotten rain for three days straight (or maybe four, it feels more like a week). Our basements are flooded, our septic systems runneth over, and our roads are wet on one block and impassable two streets down. I have a feeling that others are feeling my sense of paranoia about global warming, rising seas, Biblical floods and changing weather patterns. I envision most Mid-Atlantic state residents glued to their computers, emailing one another about the forecast and watching the Weather Channel. In seach of comfort, they make frequent trips to the freezer for more ice cream. Occasionally, they fearfully check the basement floor to see if water is seeping in. Earlier this evening, I'd had enough of feeling cooped up, and I drove down to the Park for a run. I'm not insane enough to run in the park in a storm. The street, however, was just fine. As one would expect everyone else was home behaving themselves. The only residents out in the rain were the songbirds, swooping and singing and finding branches on which to perch and observe any traffic below As I ran up the hill, I noticed something on the road. As I came upon it, I realized a tiny black bird with an orange breast and an orange hat sat right smack in the center of Chalfant Road. Of course, I stopped. Call me a follower of St. Francis, or just a crazy dame, but I asked the bird what it was doing in the road. Was it hurt? One silvery foot lay splayed out in front of its bony little body, while the other was approximately where it was supposed to be. Sweat pouring down my face in the humid air, I ran through my choices. None of them were good. I only knew that I could not abandon it on to the brutality of some oblivious SUV hog. Driving a little too fast the evening before, I had killed a squirrel-could it be that I was being given a chance to do something differently? The little songbird stared at my with its bright black eyes. Why would it have let me get so close if it wasn't injured? Above us the other members of its family swooped, twittering and talking. The rain outlined the bones on its back, drenching its furry neck, running down its tail. But as I took out my cell phone to call friends a couple of houses away, the little bird gathered its feet under it and soared, joining its family in the green branches, leaving me alone on the road. I have no idea why this lovely wild singer let me get so close-perhaps it was a baby who didn't know any better. But I was happy for the opportunity to see it gloriously clad on the tarmac-and much more thrilled to see it fly home.

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