Stir me from sleep, stir memories to the surface

Posted by admin on September 2nd, 2012 filed in Dealing with loss, General, Summer, Vacation

Saturday morning I woke up to the strangest sound. “WHAT IS THAT!?” I raised the distressed wife alarm to wake sleeping Bert. “It’s … just a bird chirping outside the window,” he informed me, already fading back to sleep. Oh. Oops. To be fair, I wasn’t the only one to find this vocal wildlife noteworthy. Dinkle the cat was at the window ready to defend us against this noisy threat. Or maybe she just wanted to eat it. We can’t know, okay?

After being awake for a few minutes, listening to the bird, I decided its chipper call was best described as “common” and “benign,” not intimidating at all. The volume was what startled me awake.

This led me to remember another bird I heard outside a window, a few years ago. On vacation in Marlyand with my family one summer, a mockingbird was frequently in the tree by the front porch of the house. My grandmother would stand just inside the screen door and look out at the tree. I don’t know if she could actually see the bird, or if she was just facing that way to gain some unseen connection to it. Then she’d spend quite a bit of time whistling with it, back and forth. I couldn’t tell if she was imitating its call or if it was mimicing her song, but they would stay there and have lengthy exchanges. I have a crisp and clear image of her doing this. She was leaning to the left on the jamb, with her gray hair curled, glasses on their chain, cane in right hand, and butterfly pin on her navy and white striped shirt. I wonder if she even knew I was watching.

And now I miss her a lot.

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