A Moment in My Life – Friday, January 29, 2021
A few days after we moved into our house, the black bird family dropped by, making themselves comfortable in our front yard. That was a thing they did. There were three of them. I opened my front window blinds one morning, and there they were. My eyes grew wide as I gasped at the sight of these big black birds just a few feet away from me. I swear they were gigantic! The biggest birds I’ve seen this close. They stood as tall as a proud cat. What prevented me from jumping out of my skin was the reminder that there was a window between us. Yes, fear not. Fear what? Oh right, the unrelenting thought of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds,” and my imagination took it out on this family of crows.
Over the years, we managed to coexist. Every time we encountered each other, we did our usual thing—run away. That’s called respecting each other’s space. I don’t approve of everything they do, like when they party too hard and lack the manners to clean up after themselves. I get their disapproval of me when I force an early end to their party. I’ve thought a bad word or two of them as I’m sure they have done the same towards me. When it came down to it, we were cut from the same cloth—cowards. Neither dared to say to the other’s face what we thought.
The pandemic forged an unspoken bond between us. Since I can’t go anywhere, they come around and entertain me every chance they get. We toss each other a head nod keeping to the 6 feet social distancing protocol. They try hard to convince me that they aren’t as bad as I think they are. I smirk at that.
Maybe there is some truth. That’s what happens when you get to know each other better. You start seeing who they are when nobody is around. Then, you know what they are made of. Like the other day, Chad, yeah, I named my buddy, as I was saying the other day, Chad, thought he was all alone. There was a piece of something that looked like wet cardboard on the ground that attracted him. Unlike a seagull who would swoop in before you knew there was something there, Chad hopped, yes, they hop, around securing it while he surveyed his surroundings, making sure nobody was watching. He moved in closer, continuing to hop around the thingy—too polite to dive in. He’s the dinner guest who wouldn’t begin eating until everybody was seated, and he would wait until the host started eating. After a long hop, Chad closed the gap and politely pecked at the thingy while nervously confirming nobody was around. I stood behind the blinds out of sight, not to spook him, I mean, not to disrupt him. After further inspection, Chad went all in and lifted the thingy in flight. Earlier, his companion did a similar hopping dance around a piece of French bread without spending as much time as Chad had.
Looking back, I realize that I had no reason to fear these birds. They fear me as much as I feared them. They are more like us than I knew. We’ve act coyly in similar situations. They have needs and desires just like we do, and they get intimidated along with the rest of us. I laugh now when I remember the panic that I felt the first time I saw them outside my window. Now, I see them as another creature that God has made. We’re not that different. The only difference between us is that we were made human, and they were made the black birds.