The Bluebird of Happiness

My husband is kinda cute.  Years ago, there was a family of bluebirds that would periodically try to use our seasonally dormant chimney as a high rise condo for a nest.  This “try” never got farther than the “Oh shit, what have I done?” stage when the lesser brained bird would flutter all the way down the chimney pipe and into the actual dormant wood stove where he (?) would summarily get stuck.

Thus necessitating a daring rescue from the occupants of the actual home these feathered invaders were trying to “squat” on.  Or in.  Whatever.

The cute part is coming up.  I came home from work one day to hear a tale from previously introduced husband.  How he heard a sound.  He ignored it, then heard it again.  Frantic, fluttering.  Fluttering?  He got up from his relaxed state of couch surfing and tracked down the odd noise.

The house terrier was jumping excitedly at the glass panes of the wood stove when the hubby saw a brief movement within.  Then the flutter sound.  He quickly sussed it out…. a bird!  In the stove!

Upon opening the door, he saw, there, in the ashes of winter passed, a small bluebird. It peered up at him with eyes of beady black, then, in a flash, it leaped up and flew OUT!  Out, but INTO the house!  There was a bird, at large, in the house.

The terrier leaped, to no avail.  The bird, he was quicker!  The husband yelled and fell back.  There was a bird in the house.  A WILD bird!

The little bluebird flew to the window and discovered the force field we use to protect our nest… we like to call it glass.  The bird made a slight thump and bounced off and into my fast recovering husband’s outstretched hands.  Touchdown!

He held the small bird and did the thing we all do when fortunate enough to hold a wild bird in ones hand… he looked it over very carefully.  It’s blue feathers, its small beak, those round eyes rimmed with a band of gray.  There are delicate intricacies of patterns, color, fletching, these things you don’t see when a bird is on the wing.  To see it up close, without your own eye pressed to a binocular lense, is to see it in the real.  To feel the warmth and the tiny heart beat in your hand is to feel the spirit of nature herself.

The hub and the bird regarded one another.  Eye to eye, for a moment. And in that moment they were awed and touched.  Knowing time was important, to hold the bird longer than necessary was to trap him and harm him with fear, my husband opened the door to the outside world.  He stepped beyond the porch and held the bird to the open sky.  In a blink, the bird leapt and was gone, swooping off in long arcs across our meadow of spring grass.

In that moment, my husband was happy.  He felt blessed by the bluebird of happiness.

And that, was the story he shared with me.  It was the story I remembered when a week later, that bird forgot his error in judgement and found its way into my living room again. This time, I got to hold the bluebird of happiness in my hands.  And you know what?  Happiness is a fragile thing.  It has to be set free in order for it to fly and be and create more happiness. It’s a rare thing to hold it in your hands.

We both were blessed with that story.  As for the bluebird?  He found a better home and didn’t make that mistake a third time. If I want to look closely at them, I have to dial in the focus on our Bushnells… and then close one eye because they never seem to work right for me.  They are lovely to admire from a distance and I’m glad they are taking a pass on the chimney pipe these days.  But that brief encounter was a small blue miracle, one of the many magical moments that make up a life and make one happy to be alive.

The bluebird of happiness:

bluebird

Aerial Home

A Change In Perspective

Ever since moving to this property I have been obsessed with the idea of an aerial image of the place.  I managed to wrangle a small plane ride over our place early on in our history, and though I took snapshots, they were grainy and awful.  It didn’t matter, I was only going to use the photo to create a map of the land.  The snap shots sat on my drawing table for years… mostly gathering dust, never culminating in any sort of accurate representation of what we had been doing.  Maybe what I had been obsessed with was documenting our progress as we took 10 undeveloped acres and built a shed, a house, a barn, a studio.  Once the record had been made, I relaxed.

Years later, a professional aerial photographer took a nice shot and we bought it, hanging it in a spot of honor in our home.  This fired up the old desire to somehow draw the land myself.  Especially now that I had completed my civil technician program which included mapping software and surveying coursework.  For awhile I thought I should use my newly acquired skills to render a plat map of the place.  But I couldn’t get fired up about actually measuring and then working on the computer.  Finally, I realized it wasn’t what I wanted anyway.  What I wanted was the exercise in thinking about what I liked about our home and aesthetically recreating the features.  I wasn’t going for letter perfect accuracy… I just wanted to use my own two hands to creatively “map” our property.  For fun, for the hell of it, and most importantly, for me.

Aerial Home

Aerial Home (North orientation)