A child of change

Emily_2016_0517_019They’re singing again.

A January thaw is upon us, and the birds of the homestead are ecstatic. My eyes snapped open this morning as an unknown avian friend warbled out her morning greetings. Shamefully, I can’t connect her voice with her face in my jumbled-up brain, and sadly, my rusty echolocation, struggling to revive from a winter’s sleep – and act through the bedroom window – was unable to get a visual on her, but I do know her. And I’ve missed her sweet song.

And just like that I’m pining for spring. We’ve had exactly one month of snow on the ground, and that snow is primarily from only one decent snowfall. And here I am, ready to pull the plug and leap into the next big thing. Muck and mire, here I come.

Fickle friends and capricious soapboxers come to mind.

I love winter. I really do. Problem is, I love all the seasons, and so quickly I grow disenchanted with the one I’m in. No sooner do those wonderful days arrive when the sun warms your back and you find yourself retiring the parkas and neckers, and I am dreaming of a day at the beach. As summer is just approaching the peak of heat and humidity, I’m already wishing for the cool breezes of autumn. As soon as the hiking weather gets good and the leaves fall off the trees, I’m sniffing the skies for the first whiffs of snow. And after a few good days of snow and cold, I get all antsy for spring again, like a squirrel who didn’t quite meet the fall quota and is living off of the kindnesses of the local birdfeeders (Ah-hem).

It’s a good thing I find myself rooted deeply in Wisconsin, where we have the joy of the seasonal changes. If I were landed, heaven forbid, in a climate of seasonal homeostasis, I do believe I’d quickly lose any cool I may have possessed. I need that change. I am fueled by the ever-changing view from my living room window and the full spectrum of underfoot fodder, from the joy of cool grass between the toes all the way through the crunchiness of autumn leaves and the squeak of snow, to the mush of mud and wet and new growth, and back to the sandy beaches of summer. How would one live without that continuum?

As my heart leaped this morning at the sound of my birdfeeder under attack with excited critters (not all the feathered kind, I’m afraid), as I rushed to get out the door for walk without my mittens and hat, and as I looked upon the snow with less affection than yesterday, the birds glanced at me sideways, questioning what they knew was my settling into a premature discontent.

They were rejoicing in the moment. My rejoicing, they knew, would turn to a desire for the fast-forward button – in mere moments.

And they were right.

My joy, my gratitude, my contentment – all are so often fleeting. It takes me about thirty-six-and-a-half seconds to grow used to the blessings of my life and begin not only to take them for granted, but swiftly to turn away in search of the next high. What a putz.

So today, I thank God for the mercy of a million changes, without which I would be hopelessly and irretrievably lost in a sea of ingratitude and discontent.

Wise birds.

‘Til my next change of heart,


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