The woman who lives here rehabilitates sick and injured catbirds — I am delighted and, in my heart of hearts, a little jealous. A single sweeping glance allows me to take in this forest-hued room in its entirety — dusky green walls, chocolate couches and carpet, finely-grained wooden work table and leaning wooden shelves. Windows are arranged horizontally along one wall near the ceiling. Pale fingers of light stream and puddle as if through tree limbs and shifting leaves.
The rehabilitator allows me to assist in feeding the injured catbirds, instructing me to take mouthfuls of raw green spinach and dark brown raisins, to chew thoroughly, masticating them. Pursing my lips around this mixture, one of the injured catbirds flies forward from the shelves. Wings aflutter, it hovers before me and slips its sooty wedge of beak between my lips. It sips the spinach and raisins. He’s so close, I see clearly and directly into his bead-bright black eyes; I see his smooth charcoal cap and little russet undertail. The breeze of his wings fans my face, and occasionally the whisper touch of a feather grazes my cheek.
Note: For eight years now — and hopefully for the foreseeable future — I have been feeding raisins to visiting catbirds in my yard. If you are interested, and have not already seen my earlier post on this, you might want to read “Days of Song & Raisins”.