Monday, April 20, 2009

The Ache for the Past

I started my summer "B" job this past weekend, working weekends at the Catskill Native Nursery from now until the end of the season. I knew I was going to be stiff and sore, feeling every day of my age and every moment of a long winter spent not doing much physical work. I was not prepared, however, for the heart-rending beauty of the birds and their songs. At my former home, I had planted and planted and planted just for the comfort and support of the birds and was rewarded with an abundance of song and movement. Now, however, I am living in town and while I hear a few English Sparrows singing in the morning, it is otherwise a desert. When I got to the nursery I was overwhelmed by the song and by the many bluebirds, tree swallows and other species flitting around. Oh how I have missed them.
Nostalgia literally means "the ache for the past." And it was literally an ache in the middle of my chest. The only cure for it that I can see is to be grateful for this small blessing- to be able to hear and see the birds at the Nursery, allow the sights and sounds to soak into me to sustain me for the intervening 4 days, keep putting one foot in front of the other and take the next right step.

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