Pee Breaks and Starlings
We can thank William Shakespeare for the masses of starlings that fodder our yards this time of year. It seems this European bird was introduced to the New World by a group of well-meaning Shakespeare lovers whose passion was to populate America with every species the author penned in his now famous works of literature. In 1890, 60 starlings were released in New York’s Central Park. These medium sized black birds were “fruitful and multiplied”. This obedience to God’s Genesis command has been good for the species. It is estimated that 150 million now claim their address within these blessed United States.
This morning as I made my way for the first pee of the day I glanced out the window and was greeted with a slight dusting of snow and large flock of omnivorous Starlings pecking the punk out of my yard. Many view these birds as a noisy nuisance. I don’t. In fact I remember raising three small starlings that had been deserted by Mama Bird almost 20 years in the past. I became their surrogate Mother and they readily accepted me with wide open mouths. We lived on a farm, of some sorts, complete with Moo cows, a cribbing horse, a 4-H lamb named Rags, a scruffy Cairn terrier and a passel kittens. My Father-in-law, at the time, suggested I just leave them alone because they would only grow up to become noisy gawkers with rambunctious appetites that would no doubt yield itself to the tender spring seedlings nestled within the rich soil of our gardens. Did I listen? Of course not! These little beauties became my pet project and they loved their new Mama….or maybe they loved the food that their new Mama put in their pie-holes! Either way, the four of us were happy! Then they learned to fly and the big bird Mama in me beamed with pride when they’d lite on my shoulder and head. Then one day they flew away and just like that they were gone.
It’s amusing that this memory flashed through my mind as I gazed out across the lawn this morning. I was completely oblivious that William Shakespeare with his late 16th and early 17th century sonnets, poems and tragedies would somehow lead to the happy moment of time shared by myself and three abandoned Starlings. So, I give thanks for a pee-break reverie that prompted a mad clatter of keys that summoned the knowledge of Google. Oh, how I love Google!
Today, as I walk through the hours of my day, I will be mindful of the memory of my three Starling friends. May I not take anything for granted. Who knows, that seemingly insignificant occurrence could be the very catalyst that issues in wonder and magic awaiting to be impregnated and birthed into my life.