Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Current Fascination

I loathe walking. Well, not LOATHE, but Sincerely Dislike. The only ways I can endure it is if I specifically am walking to GET somewhere (like, when I was in England and walking was absolutely necessary and therefore unnoticeable), or if it's a particularly beautiful walk. It is my great good fortune that I have recently gotten permission to go for walks in one of the most lovely places on earth (IMHO). It's a gated community not too far from my apartment, and it's just breathtaking - rolling hills, beautiful mansions, tons of deer.

It's also home to masses of birds, especially bluebirds. This, to me, was a sign, insofar as I have a Sign... the first bluebird I ever consciously recognized was in a wilderness camp, as I was leaving the wedding of a dear young friend who was almost like a son to me. I remember seeing it fly overhead and suddenly knew that THAT was an authentic bluebird, and I had seen it on the day of Neil's wedding, which meant it would be a happy one.

In the years since, I have started spotting them with more frequency, especially in the last year. Each time I felt a thrill, and had the conscious thought that Something Good was imminent. So to see so very many on my recent walks in my little demi-Paradise is like a confirmation (I admit, I'm not sure of what precisely). I don't believe in totem animals; I am a sucker for certain ones like cats and bunnies and Pomeranians... but I do attribute a positive significance to bluebirds.

I remember first reading about the concept of "The Bluebird of Happiness" in Ballet Shoes, by Noel Streatfeild - the girls were in a pantomime of Maurice Maeterlinck's The Blue Bird, which tells of the quest of 2 children for the Bluebird of Happiness. Of course, my interest in the signficance of bluebirds is rather spoilt by the nauseating song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" with its line "If happy little bluebirds fly/Beyond the rainbow/Why oh why can't I?" (I am bored silly by The Wizard of Oz. Never cared for it.) But still my fascination remains, partially due to the rarity of spotting them. Cardinals and bluejays aplenty, but few bluebirds. They are made precious by their scarcity.

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