This morning I was reminded of a darker time of my life as I looked out my window to the trees. It was a particularly long cold winter and I started to suffer with some migraine headaches. Not many but a few just enough to know I really didn’t like them at all. At the time I was running an in-home daycare while my youngest was not yet in school. I wanted to be a stay at home Mom but we needed some extra income. I started a daycare , ran it for three years until my daughter was in school full-time and I got my first teaching job.
I loved the little kids and there was always some antic to laugh about while doing daycare. I feel particularly old when I see those kids now as juniors, seniors in high school and one already graduated. That winter it was very cold and we had a stretch where the wind chills were too severe to let the kids outside to play. They were going stir crazy and so was I.
One evening I walked past some bird feeders and seed at our local hardware store and wondered “Would the birds come and eat if I put out some food?” I had never had a bird feeder before. I picked out a feeder and picked up some seed and went home and tried to decide where to place it. I decided outside my livingroom window would be the best because the kids would be able to look out and see the birds from there if they came to the feeder.
I put out the feeder that evening and the next day watched. No birds. I was so disappointed and so were the kids. Day two I watched again and once again no birds. I thought maybe I had it in the wrong place, after all I never had a feeder before. The third morning I watched as my first bird came to the feeder. It was a purple finch. I didn’t know that at the time because I didn’t know birds. My next stop that evening was to the library for a bird book so I could I identify the different birds that came to the feeder.
That winter the daycare kids and I learned about birds together. Bird watching was a distraction from the cold weather but developed into a life-long passion for me. Each season brings different birds to the feeder. One of my favorite birds to watch is the Nuthatch. I love it because it approaches life from a different perspective. It walks down the trees head first. It is the most beautiful combination of blue, white and black. We had many visitors to our feeder that winter: woodpeckers, cardinals, finches, nuthatches, grosbeak, blue jays, black-capped chickadees and some I am sure I have forgotten.
Sometimes learning something new is the best remedy to the blues.