Early midsummer mornings are as the ancestors must
have heard them. Long ago they may not have had windows to close, so
I suspect there was much grumbling amongst the young. The Kingbirds
have children. Barn Swallows have children. Tree
Swallows have Children. And there is a boy Quail still desperate for
love. He spends his mornings in the vegetable garden. His afternoons
along the fence, and mostly in his loneliness he ignores us.
A Kingbird family is garrulous.
There are arguments and fidgeting and a great deal of showing off.
The Tree Swallow family chatters constantly because the grown-ups are I
think considering a second brood. And the Barn Swallow family for
some reason strikes me as being overly critical of each other. A
behavior informed, I suggest, by living as babies too many together in a
nest with no head room.
My own nerves are shot, a courtesy of the
sudden heat and humidity. A seasonal change which also takes its toll
on birds of the air, because by noon a Mockingbird might practice a call or
two, otherwise it is peaceful out there while we all coddle gently in that
In what remains of my mind, the year is
as good as over by June 21st. It will begin anew on December 21st when
daylight starts to again lengthen. From now until then I sense decline. The wife considers my relationship with the calendar
quite nutty. She will tease me with the raised eyebrow. But I am
myself, and I am beginning to think that rather than pursue the lost cause
of Nirvana, I might play my cards more adroitly, so in the next life I could
return as a migratory bird.
And here, amongst the cards I hold, some
are really very wicked. So I should be wary, in this period of
decline, in case I am sent directly to the insect world. Perhaps
return again as a Stink Bug for whom this weather is paradise.