The day dawned clear and bright in Elizabeth City. It is cold too, as it ought to be in February. February will decide the fate of the daffodils and everything else that blooms in early spring. I saw a patch of daffodils in bloom yesterday, and though they were cheerfully surrounding a mailbox, I wished they had waited for March.
The yard was full of all sorts of birds this morning. A little chickadee was trapped in the screened porch and a robin was showing great concern about it. There were cardinals and doves -and of course blackbirds. There was quite a commotion. I saw a dove surveying an empty squirrel nest. I am not sure her intentions were honorable. The nest did seem abandoned and up for grabs. Squirrels build nests of twigs. They are big and untidy concoctions and sit perched on a branch in spite of that. A tree is more likely than a squirrel nest, to come unfastened, in a hurricane. The details of nature are quite remarkable.
By the time, the sunshine was bold, and a dog was barking while people were walking, the birds had left the yard. It was as if the birds had been telling secrets and were not inclined to share them, in ” broad daylight”. I understood completely. My sisters and I have secrets as of lately. Mama has a birthday this month.
I saw “hope” today-pure and unbridled. A young family took us on a tour of the house that they have hopes of calling their own. We toured the house and talked about paint and furniture-and how to improve the kitchen. We walked around the spacious yard and found old camellias blooming. A grove of magnolias grew by a small pond on the property. I listened to the young mother tell us what she would plant and prune. She fairly glowed as she spoke. The little boys ran hither and yonder exploring. I am sure they had plans of forts and hiding spots. I was in the presence of “hope” and it acted like a tonic.
Lyla and I took a walk in the afternoon. We fed some hungry seagulls. They came quite close to the stroller and squawked noisily the whole time. Other than that, the neighborhood was still and quiet. The winter sunshine had softened and looked like early morning light. Heart shaped wreaths adorned many doors. A redbird streaked through the sky just above us. I told Lyla that he was a special kind of a valentine and that we ought to make a wish-so we did.
We came home to a warm house and it seemed just like a happy ending to an ordinary day- unless you take count into account, that it was a day full of secrets, hopes and a wish made on a redbird.