Three months of living in a world turned upside down, with something new occurring almost daily has my heart sinking to the pits of despair. I get flustered and yes, angry very easily. I bottle my emotions inside of me until they finally bubble to the surface and then I explode, much like a volcano.
Earlier this week, I decided I needed a break. The constant bickering on social media and the “he said, she said” reporting from the major television news stations had my heart racing and the panic threatening to overwhelm me. I embarked on a mission to seek some much needed peace and tranquility.
My first stop in my journey to happiness was at my daughter and son-in-law’s house. Of course, time spent with the grandkids always brings me contentment and joy. I put on my galoshes and wandered down to the pond, toting my camera. I cautiously looked for snakes and was very relieved to not spy any. A bullfrog was croaking, perhaps he was warning other pond inhabitants that I was encroaching in their domain. Behind me, I heard the splash of fish leaping into the air and then crashing back into the water. A little frog was practicing his diving techniques. And then I saw the lotuses, a colorful rainbow of flowers blooming in the water. I could feel the wave of peacefulness transcending upon my soul.
Back home, I arose one morning before anyone else, I attached my giant telephoto lens on my camera and set up a chair on my front porch. I filled up my assortment of bird feeders and threw lots of peanuts on the ground feeders for my Blue Jay friends. I sat down and tuned the world out. I could feel some of the stress that has been invading my body shift. I breathed the air; the summer breeze was blowing my American Flag. My menagerie of wild feathered and furry friends peeked down from the trees and under the Rhododendron bushes. The birds chirped their displeasure at my presence. “Hush now,” I called to them. “Show a little gratitude to the person who gives you this daily feast.” Finally, a brave chipmunk sauntered up to the little picnic table and boldly stuffed 3 peanuts into his mouth. A sparrow followed suit and took a ride on the Ferris wheel feeder. My Blue Jays battled with the Robins and the Starlings for VIP seating.
Every day for the past week, I have been spending a quiet hour both in the morning and in the early evening with my friends. We don’t discuss politics or practice social distancing – well, I practice it, but only because they have not permitted me to join their inner circle just yet. Red-Winged Blackbirds, Cardinals, Catbirds, Brown Headed Cowbirds, Crows, Mourning Doves, Goldfinches and Purple Finches, Grackles, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Blue Jays, Nuthatches, Baltimore and Orchard Orioles, Robins, Sparrows, Brown Thrashers, Downy and Red-bellied woodpeckers and even a Scarlet Tanager mingle and dine together, coexisting in harmony (with a few territorial spats). A pair of Bushy-tailed squirrels are joined by Mr. and Mrs. Piney Squirrel. A family of 6-7 chipmunks dart back and forth across my lawn, hoarding peanuts.
As I sit in my chair, I listen to the songs the birds are singing. I tune out the roar of the traffic. My new friends have indeed calmed and soothed my soul.