Welcome to my newsletter, Abbe’s Ruminations. I mull, contemplate, ponder – old and new experiences, finding what I call the joy and laughter of repetition or the abandonment to not knowing.
They called me their Little Bird. It was a better version of my first nickname, Peanut. Obviously, my parents chose the name to reflect my size. Did they know in advance that I’d remain petite in adulthood? No, I think they thought I’d fly away or be consumed. They assigned affectionate words without deep forethought.
I doubt they had a bird species in mind. Any little bird would do. But as I wandered the neighborhoods and ducted into the woods, I imagined my flight. Where would I go? How far would I venture away from the nest?
Certainly, I couldn’t be the common Robin with its orange-reddish belly. I’d like to think that they meant I was exotic like a Toucan from Costa Rica, or a smaller and rarer bird like the Puerto Rican Tody, with its brilliant green coloring, combined with a bright red throat and orange beak.
Looking back, my parents were wise. I did fly away from the suburbs and journeyed on my own. I didn’t stay put like the robin or crow. I migrated to other states and countries.
I’m firmly planted in the Pacific Northwest, and now do my wanderings along the coastal sound as well as in neighborhoods and parks. The most common bird I see flits among the bushes- small and brown hardly discernable. The song sparrow gives itself away with its melody and uplifted tail. Another tiny bird I love seeing is the black-capped chickadee. These two birds often fly in similar territories: around edges of lawns looking for seeds, insects, and spiders. The song sparrow’s voice has clear notes then a jumbled trill, then a more nasal chump, seet. The chickadee whistles fee-beeyee and chatters chick-a-dee-dee-dee-dee. My own voice is always a little off-key but sung passionately.
I’m pretty sure that my parents never thought of me as a stellar jay, with a pointed black head cap and cobalt blue feathers. Who knows I might fly up on trees and peruse the skies, but more likely I’d be in reeds near water, like the red-winged blackbird or a spotted towhee.
I once lived on a road called Eagle Flyway and lived in a home called the Hawk House. I cherish my scrimshaw necklace of a blue heron as a gift marking my awe of the elegant, awkward, and stunning bird.
Despite my size and normal demeanor, I can be a rascal crow, a squawking seagull, or a soft blue fairy wren.
I’m a migratory species that always comes back. Like the hummingbird rufous and anna, I can be fierce if my family is threatened, passionate and colorful when fully engaged, and reflective. My heart beats strong for all that I love.
You can find out more about Abbe at her website http://www.abberolnick.com