Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I LOVE the theater!

Eastern Bluebird.  Photo by Wendell Long

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) from North America.  The mythology of the bluebird of happiness has deep roots that go back thousands of years. Indigenous cultures across the globe hold similar myths and beliefs about the bluebird. It is a widely accepted symbol of cheerfulness, happiness, prosperity, hearth and home, good health, new births, the renewal of springtime, etc. Virtually any positive sentiments may be attached to the bluebird. (wikipedia)

Have you ever had a bluebird visit you?  Maybe he even built a nest in your tree (is it the hes or shes that build the nests)?  In our former home we had a bluebird family who spent their spring and summer with us every year.  The tree in the backyard was theirs.  They would allow other birds, mostly wrens and sparrows, a few spots on the lower branches but about halfway up the tree was theirs and, make no mistake, they weren't about to share it!

Now, I know that bluebirds are supposed to be good luck.  There are songs written about bluebirds and happiness.  They're reported to be a sign of new life and prosperity.  I love to see them sit in my lilac bush outside my window.  They sing to me in the morning as the sun is rising in the sky and I love listening to them.

But have you ever had one (or two or three) that kind of scares you?  Our bluebirds at the old place were beautiful to look at and listen to, but if we stepped foot in the yard, they would swoop down at us and, in no uncertain terms, let us know that our presence was NOT appreciated!  They would even chase the little boys from next door.  On many occasions I would hear the boys screaming as that crotchety old bird (I'm assuming he was crotchety and old) chased those boys from my yard.  Try as I might, I couldn't 'make peace' with those birds.

So, how do birds like that get the reputation of happiness and hope?  Was it just my experience that created this question for me?  No, others have shared their 'psycho-bluebird' stories with me, so I am certain that there is something we're missing here. Maybe bluebirds are like people.  Maybe, depending on the day, they get cranky and disillusioned.  Or maybe, as they age, they just don't care so much.  But maybe they're more like we humans than we realize. 

Is it possible that, like humans, the bluebirds are fearful that someone or something is going to take what they believe is theirs?  As I watch these beautiful birds in my bushes, they have let the little squirrel (who also thinks he owns my yard and trees) know that he'd better find other accommodations (and he has moved across the street...for now).  Isn't it sad that they can't find a way to live and work together?  Perhaps they just know, instinctively, that everything will work better if they stay apart.  I'm sure that I don't have the answer to this question, whether we're talking about birds and squirrels or humans.  But they are certainly questions that I ponder as I sit here watching the "drama" in my front yard play out. 

One thing I DO know...I'm staying out of it!  I'll just sit here and watch from the safety of my window and contemplate life's mysteries.  It's great theater...and I love the theater!

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