Signs of Hope

Did I mention that it's a day of nonstop raining today?  And cold?  Nothing like the snow/ice/frigid temps in the west and northeast, mind you, but it's one of those endlessly drippy wet gray days today.

But the birds are busy out there.  A mockingbird sat on my chimney top this morning during a downpour and just sang its heart out for a good fifteen minutes.  Perhaps it was sheltered under the chimney cap - the song came down the chimney and into my dark living room with startling clarity.  Now I am upstairs sitting by the window and male yellow bellied sapsucker (that sounds like an insult we used to use in the sixth grade) is working over the pecan tree and a bright red cardinal perches on the neighbor's soaked brown fence, lending bright spots to the dull day.  A pair of black capped chickadees are chasing one another around the tree, and a tufted titmouse rummages through a pile of leaves below.  And as I ventured outside to open the birdfeeder back up from where the squirrels had closed it, I smelled the delicious, spicy fragrance of that otherwise unremarkable (indeed, rather plain) wintersweet shrub (chimonanthus praecox) that has nearly died for three years in a row but for some reason took off this year.  I thought the freeze killed the yellow blooms this winter, and they do look ragged, but oh, the perfume that comes from even the stunted buds. One wishes for a scratch and sniff feature to Blogger.

This is what hope looks like.  Bright spots and lovely sounds, perfume on the damp winter air, beauty going about its beautiful work on a drippy, dreary day.