There’s a dazzling cardinal living in my backyard. It’s bright red feathers streak through the trees as it meanders between branches and occasionally lands on the fence. It sings such a beautiful song and the other birds sing back. I wonder what they’re saying, wonder what the chirps of their language mean and what they’re constantly chitchatting about. As the expressions fly out of their small beaks, I don’t doubt it’s important, that it is necessary for their neighbors to hear. Or maybe, birds are just big gossipers, communicating what they see below them, their eyes always searching for predators or potential food sources.

Photo by Tina Nord on

My cat is definitely considered a predator to these fascinating creatures. One evening three brave little birds touched down in my yard. My cat, who had been laying underneath my swing periodically rubbing her whiskers against my toes to remind me she was there, sprinted into the yard towards the flock of birds. Two of them managed to escape her wrath, but one hadn’t been so lucky. I suppose she had nicked its wing or maybe she had just shocked it, because it didn’t fly away. My cat crouched down into the grass and eyed her prey. I watched intently from my place on the patio. After a twenty second stare down, the bird soared into the air and my cat leapt after it, only to land back in the grass empty-pawed.

I wondered what it would be like to be a bird, to be able to take off in an instant and flap your wings against the wind, dipping them into the soft pleasures that are clouds. I can’t imagine how free they must feel being in such unison with the wind.

Photo by Wendy Wei on

I think about Jenny from Forrest Gump when she asked God to make her a bird, so she could fly far, far away. I wonder where she would have flown to if she had ever gotten her own set of wings.  

I don’t know where I’d go if I were a bird, but still the fantasy of leaping off an edge and trusting my instincts to fly me to safety is alluring. Maybe I’d go somewhere warm and tropical. Or maybe I’d have to understand the nonsense that is the birds’ chirping to determine where would be the best place to take off to. The possibilities would be endless.

I suppose, no matter what though, like someone notable once said, no matter where you go, there you are.