Swallow Sleepover

Drue got home last night saying, “Hurry, come see, come see, but be quiet,” motioning me towards the door. I slowly crept out, he said, “Look at the top of our door,” on the molding sat a sleepy swallow and to the right on top of the fire alarm box was another, so adorable! I whispered to them “You’re so cute, I love you, I love you, I love you, night night” as I went back in carefully closing the door behind me. They gazed lazily at me not moving a feather, so chill. “Thank you for showing me the birds” and I flung my arms around Drue. “Of course, I know they’re your friends,” he laughed. So sweet!

The birds still begin chattering around 2 am when we’re just falling asleep. I always laugh and tell Drue they’re singing lullabies to help him sleep, heh. I love the life the liveliness they bring to our days. Their flying acrobatics keep me in awe, I am mesmerized as I watch the show from my balcony, their aerodynamic forms zooming across the painted sky. I walk to check the mail and crane my neck to see them clinging bat-like in the corners of the buildings among their dirt nests.

The other day a fledgling landed on our balcony floor. I was inside but crept closer to watch. The little one sat there resting while the parents swooped by encouraging it to fly with them. It sat there cheeping, taking a breather and the parents swooped back around twice more. It finally flew to the railing and then flew away in a downward trajectory, I lost sight of it and hoped it fared well. How daunting that must be, the first flight, how do they know they’re ready? It’s miraculous.

I saw a family in the parking lot below, the toddler son riding a pint-sized bicycle, how do they ride 2 wheelers, no training wheels at that age, wow! He was biking alongside the dad, the mother walked with the elder daughter, they piled into the SUV, the dad walked back to throw something in the trash, looked up an smiled my way. The mom was buckling the boy into the car seat. The sun bright, the air sparkling with anticipation, the family vibe was relaxed, happy, full of anticipation on an adventurous day out. I smiled back at them while reliving memories past of adventures with our children. Golden brilliant mischievous laughter-filled sweaty hugs and kissy cheeked sweet sticky boisterous days gone by. The best years ever. Missing those cute critter chasing days that left me deeply exhausted but in that wouldn’t trade it for the world way.

Being surrounded by thriving natural beauty and wildlife helps ease that longing for the exuberance of those days. Seeing others enjoying their families be it birds or humans is comforting. Having a balcony garden also fills that void. Appreciating life as it unfolds before me, keeps me buoyant and cheered. I’m immersed in what feels like a beautiful gift when I notice the beauty that’s always there, but we take for granted when we get swept away in the drama. It’s hard to feel bad when there are adorable baby birds, starry nights, toddler Lance Armstrongs, balcony gardens, and glorious sunsets to garnish your days.

I’ve spent this week in a kind of half-awake state, like when you first get out of bed, that groggy, hazy feeling, well that’s how I’ve felt all the time until this evening after I awakened from my nap, I was really all the way awake, finally. I felt somewhat like my old self, my brain felt fully back online. Maybe the Singulair is beginning to kick in. Maybe I’m turning a corner. I’m hopelessly optimistic almost to a fault. I could be half dead and you wouldn’t know it because I’d be cheery and smiling, no apparent distress, lmao. Hey, I’m not freezing right now either and my hair’s wet. Hmmm. I hope it lasts.

Noticing and appreciating all of the abundance we’re naturally graced with has kept me centered on what truly matters which is appreciating life now, finding joy every day, no matter how trivial it may seem to others. I delight in the birds, sky, trees, wind, sun, passersby, husbands sharing the delight of birds sleeping over on our door, socializing on Zoom, Skyping with the kids, noticing all the things I can be grateful for, knowing that there’s always something else that will astonish and thrill right outside my doorstep. There are miracles everywhere if you choose to see through admiring eyes.

Michelle Miyagi
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