Eventually I'll write about the Awe of AWE but this morning my mind is on birds.
It's last day of winter holiday and sleeping in. Morning is my favorite time to write. Before I sat down to the computer, I was in the living room with the eastern sun to my back illuminating the pages of an old spiral notebook Aria used for her 6th grade reading class. At the time, Reo occupied the computer seat as he ate a bowl of Lucky Charms for his breakfast. Something about the chime-like sound of his spon against the bowl puts a smile on my face. Awe is always the little things that punctuate the most profound and inexplicable moments.
Sitting on the couch, I turn my head to the left and crane my neck slightly, gaze out through a disgracefully filthy window and see two sour cherry trees. The branches bow to the snow-blanketed earth that sparkles in the sun. Staring at glittery snow on clear blue days is one of my favorite ways to pause.
The cherries on the trees are not frozen solid despite the frigid temperatures. They've cycled through chill and thaw enough times that they are now mooshy and have traded their bright blood red color for a cranberry orange.
Soon one of my favorite winter time events will happen. The migration of the Cedar Waxwings! I will never forget the first time I experienced their arrival. It was a quiet mid-January morning and out of nowhere the tranquility of the farm erupted into a frenzy. A cacophony of bird song from Cedar Waxwings, by the hundreds, perched on every branch of every tree surrounding the sour cherries pierced the quiet. Bird brawls and boozey flight punctuated the 20 minutes or so it took for them to strip the trees bare of every last fermented berry.
As mysteriously as they arrived, they vanished. Presumably flying off their drunken stupor until the next cache of winter deliciousness.
What makes me anticipate their arrival this year with such glee is their noticeable rare absence last year. I can count on one hand the number of times they have not danced in my trees in the 17 years of living at No Worries Farm. January 2016 was unseasonably warm and instead of Cedar Waxwing gluttony, we had Robins. Countless everyday Spring-time robins, which was totally disconcerting. They aren't typically due to arrive until April but with two years of drought-like conditions, I wasn't completely surprised.
So far we are experiencing a more normal winter season with plenty of snow and cold temperatures. I check everyday for these noisy fickle friends to return. They leave a mess on the ground, to be sure, but it's worth the party they have in the trees and the way they elevate my spirit for just that fleeting moment of awe.