LC Van Savage
Go Home, Robin!
Look. Iíve got enough worries to deal with. I donít need any more, thank you very much. Just please donít tell me anything thatíll cause me to worry. Donít even ask me if Iíve read that latest horror story in the newspaper that Iíll have to worry about, and for heavenís sake, donít point out anything about me personally that needs ďfixingĒ because Iíll just worry about it all the time, not bother to do anything about it which will make me worry all the more.
So now that you have my take on worry, tell me what I can do about that @#$*! robin I saw in mid-February. The temp was nineteen degrees lower than the average temperature for that day in that month than in the entire history of weather record keeping, and it was the coldest day of this year. Skin cracking, nose-hair freezing, electric house-shocking, door-lock freezing, God-forsaken hellacious cold. Brutal.
I was working at my computer, looked up and saw him, a robin, standing on the snow atop our woodpile. At first I grinned and called out happily to ďMongo,Ē my husband, ďHey! Spring is officially here. Look out the window. Check it out! Thereís a robin there!Ē Mongo looked, shook his head and walked away. The man has never been a big fan of robins, insisting that they deliberately wake him up all spring, by endlessly screaming hello to each other, tree to tree.
But then my joy at this annual harbinger turned to, you guessed it, worry. As youíve already deduced, I hate worry. Worry eats pieces of you bit by tiny bit, and depresses you and makes you a great bore to everyone around you. A major snore. Who wants to be dragged down by someone who worries all the time about things he/she canít control anyway; the weather, the stock market, trying to make the legs on that kitchen chair come out even, your teenager, whether itís correct to say raveled or unraveled, whether or not itís correct to say whether or not. Lifeís just too short, you know?
But there it was, last Feb. The robin. I suddenly found myself mentally tumbling into a moribund bog of intense despair. He stood on the snow, looking cheerful. He must have flown up from I donít know where (because Iíve never done any Robin migration tracking,) but Iím pretty sure itís someplace where it gets lovely and warm in the winters and beastly hot in the summers. Florida? Wherever, but why on earth did that little red breasted dimwit leave Paradise and fly off to what he presumed would be summer in Maine? What a dolt! I mean, donít robins eat worms? Howís he going to find worms under three feet of snow in ground frozen to granite? I mean unless he has some ability to grow a beak as long as a rake handle with the propensities of a jackhammer, that guyís gonna starve. And even if he could hammer a hole into the ground, which he couldnít, donít worms go to sleep for the winter like about ten feet below the permafrost waiting for the spring rains so they can come up and gross everyone out by dying on the road looking like old, overcooked, beige spaghetti?
I canít get that bird out of my mind. There he was, a beautiful contrast of red/rust against the snow, head cocked, staring down at the ground, waiting and hoping for a worm to stare back, and getting zilch for his trouble. He flew off. Where is he? Frozen against some tree trunk hoping to his dying breath heíd see at least one crocus pushing up through the knee-deep snow? Wondering why heíd ever listened to that crazy grackle who told him summer had come to Maine and that heíd better get up there before all the good worms were gone? Has he moved into some nice, warm squirrelís nest? Would squirrels share their quarters with a beak-chattering freeloader begging for a little warmth and companionship? Would squirrels share their acorns? Would robins be able to gag a few down? Doubt it.
So whereís that robin? Iím worried about that annoying little bird. OK, the first day of spring has allegedly come and gone (altho what I see from my window doesnít look awfully spring-like, unless grey, brown, and black are springís new colors) so maybe Robin Redbreast has made it through. And maybe they eat frozen bush berries or something while they await the wormsí awakenings, yíthink? I sure hope so.
When robins get here early, do they realize their mistake and fly back down south? Or do they just tough it out here in Maine waiting for the warm weather, freezing their robin tuchsies off? Anybody out there have the answer? If so, please do let me know. Iíve got better things to do than worry about that birdbrain.
LCís book of poetry is at local bookstores.
Hear her on ďArts Talk with Ann and LCĒ
on WMPG-FM, 90.9 and 194.1, Weds.,
11-11:30 AM or on www.wmpg.org.
Email her at email@example.com