Yesterday I took some washing up to the line like a good island wife, in a stout breeze.
That is not an article of island clothing, by the way, but, instead, a good wind for drying things.
As I climbed up the little mosaic-ed garden steps, a bush erupted beside me. I knew from the sound effects that this was a Blackbird Hoo-ha, at which Blackbirds are pretty good. They can make one out of nothing with their alarm calls, causing an island wife to drop her laundry basket, tipping her husband’s undergarments into a flowerbed and requiring her to wash them all over again.
I stood still, my back against the wall, my husband’s undergarments safely within the confines of the basket, and waited for the drama to unfold. For a few seconds, I and the blackbird family listened for each other, neither of us daring to make a sound. I knew they would give in first, through their natural curiosity and also because time is of the essence for them. Not so for me. I could linger here all morning without a shred of embarrassment or guilt, but, then, I don’t have to learn to fly in order to keep a hold of my life.
Or do I?
Anyway, the male jumped out of the bush first, which is quite proper for a Father Protector, and he locked eyeballs with me and said something rather sharp and double syllabled. I looked away, knowing that this removed me as a confrontational threat, and waited some more. He chirruped at the bush and out bounced three youngsters – all bigger than their dad, followed by a rather ruffled mother
After a few aviation tips, he told them to get on with it, and led the way, landing on the apex of the roof. Eventually they followed, but not without giving dad a whole load of lip about this flying thing and his overly high expectations of them.
This morning I noticed them all around the compost bin, which has overflowed with an excitement of worms, thus providing the family with three good meals a day plus healthy snacks. How wonderful it is, I thought to myself, that this adult pair are likely to have pitched their nest around this very spot precisely because of the overflowing compost bin and the excitement of worms. I wonder if we are clever with our own nest pitching – considering what is best for the family, and, then, moving if we find a danger too close at hand. I doubt it somehow, not with all that mortgage angst and debts and work commitments, although none of that makes it right to be living in the wrong place.
At my little grand-daughter’s naming ceremony, the words for her, in poetry, promises and songs, offered gifts and wisdom and freedom. She must learn from her parents, her guides and then be free to take that learning and shape it her own way. We all want this and yet few of us get it or give it, not really. Through our own fear, we try to keep hold, of our children, our friends. How many of us ever listen to someone, anyone, announce their new plan, a completely bonkers and impossible one, in our opinion and make no comment whatsoever? No word of caution, no opinion, saying something like this:-
Wow! That sounds incredible? How will you achieve that do you think?
And then listen and learn and encourage and only ever give opinion if asked.
Bet you can’t do it. We are all jailors of someone in order to feel free.