These last few days have been particularly abundant with spring life, new life, embarking on their new lives. People wonder what are the birds saying when they make that sound and as of yesterday I know:
A juvenile blue jay sat on the branch in the tree that is 2.5 feet away from my bedroom window. There are trees behind my apartment that are secluded and safe for birds and squirrels and other wild things to do their thang. I watch them all year long. The JV blue jay sat on the branch and squawked a soft squawk, not quite the jarring screech of an adult blue jay, similar, but soft, like it hadn’t found his diaphragm yet to ANNUNCIATE to the BACK OF THE ROOM. It sat on the branch and softly called and an adult came, and I watched it feed the young with something. The adult flew away and the juvenile hung around for a while and then hopped up and away out of my sight.
A juvenile squirrel came creeping on a branch. I could tell it wasn’t an adult because its eye was too small, its tail full grown but its body still smol. It stayed on the branch, still for a long, long time. And then it creeped, it tread, it wended carefully so carefully, unsure about what it was supposed to do and where it was supposed to go. This was not a professional parkour squirrel, though it would be someday. I should also like to mention that last year I saw a juvenile squirrel waiting on a branch for its mom, and she came and nursed him. I’ve never seen anything like this, and I was thrilled and amazed by this tender moment.
A juvenile robin, his head and back dark, dark, black was sitting in the backyard making that call. I know that call. It was a thready, reedy, whiny, gently screechy sound that said, “MOM MOM MOM.” The robin hopped a little bit here and there but mostly it stayed in the enclosed backyard of the lady who has a very vocal energetic black Pomeranian who barks and loses his shit if the wind blows. No sound. The adult robin came and fed the juvenile, then led it towards a large bush growing on the side of her house, probably where the nest is. This morning I watched the scene again, the juvenile hollering but the adult sat on the white fence calling “HERE HERE HERE, THIS WAY THIS WAY THIS WAY” and flew away. The juvenile kept watch this way for another meal and all I could think was that “Baby, you got your mind on breakfast and the hawks hear your crying and you’re going to be their breakfast.”
Yesterday the birds were crazy with activity. So many flights in crazy directions, things that made no sense to a dumb human, and I wondered if we had bad weather coming in, but no. This wasn’t about weather. It was about spring when the young are tested and called and cajoled to do that thing on the hot air rising from the rooftops and the sand. When wings and limbs are forced to grow and go.
There is no way I could see all this and not think of my own gestational effort and offspring that happened in May. I even told him all about it while he was here on his yearly visit, yes even in front of his fiancée. I tried to be matter of fact and not lean too heavily on the woman things, the things we scare each other with and dare each other with and support each other with if we are lucky. Spring life is nature and nurture, instinct is not a given. We struggle and suffer and none of us come out on top with gold medals. I could have attended a birthing class and watched the movies and read the books, I heard next to nothing from living women about “the day.” And yet somehow we all figured out how to make it work. I came home with a pink fella with some dark hair on his head and his balls. He cried and I cried and we figured it out, mostly. In Spring. When the birds are flying crazy and the heat is rising up from the earth.