I think you readers should feel pretty darned lucky you don’t have go down the old rabbit hole of my mind when I start thinking about writing another Don’t Rush Me column. I start with an idea and soon the synapses (or would that be synapsi?) start firing. Left, right, up, down, forward and back.
I zig and I zag. I start writing and a torrid stream of consciousness leads me to places and memories I knew not existed in the dark labyrinth, commonly referred to as my mind.
Your Honor, Ladies and Germs of the Jury, I give you Exhibit A.
Last week a reader lady suggested I do a column about birds and superstitions; more directly about seeing cardinals. Wah, wah, boring! Everyone knows, seeing a cardinal means a loved one who has died is coming to visit you. I thanked her, then figuratively threw her idea onto the pile of other “ideas” that may (but most likely will not) one day become a column. I was done with it.
I had a visit from United States Congressman Mike Bishop (R-Rochester) who visited our downtown Clarkston office (more on that next time).
My week went on, life happened and when life happens, I usually have something timely to write about. And, then I woke up Saturday morning to birds outside my bedroom window (and they are always out there, but this morning I paid them attention). Birds. The Birds.
The psychological thriller movie genius Alfred Hitchcock, however, had nothing to do with the birds in my head. Cardinals. There’s like a family of them in my back yard. As I lay there under the sheet, in bed looking out the window through sleepy eyes, a thought, rode in on one of the firing synapses. “Birds have swooped in and out of my life forever.”
I started listing bird incidents in my head to write about. Yep, check. Right, yes, that one. And, don’t forget to include that one time, too. Got it.
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Back before driving to school was a thing, I used to ride the bus; had to walk a couple of doors down to the Thompson’s driveway. For a time one school year, oh, I think I was between 10 and 13 years old, a crow would land on an old tree and watch me. It was in the early spring. The tree was about 20 feet away. The bird watched me from its perch about 15 feet up. It just watched me.
The first morning I saw it, mentally noted it, and didn’t think much of it. By the following week, when it was still there watching me, I was kinda whigged out. By the end of the school year, I was saying “hello” and “good-bye” to it. Just so you know, no, it never said anything back to me. Not even a shrill caw. It just watched me with its little black eyes. The next school year it visited me not.
I went on-line (exemplore.com/spirit-animals/Birds-as-Omens-and-Signs) and found this, “Crows, ravens, and blackbirds bring news of good passage and protection.”
So, I had that going for me.
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I never really liked barn swallows. Their swooping so close kinda creeps me out. And, birds that accidently (and inadvertently as they always do) get in the house bum me out, too. I think I must sense their panic and wild, terror-filled little hearts, trying to escape. Guess what? There is a bird legend for that, too. According to the Californian Audubon website, “A bird that flies into a house foretells an important message. However, if the bird dies, or is white, this foretells death.”
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What was it, oh gosh, last spring/summer? Regardless, not too long ago there was a period of time where I had to watch where I was walking in my own danged back yard. Yep, one of my stupid, fine feathered “friends” thought it would be a cool thing and dropped its fecal matter on me.
And, the wet, ickiness ran down the side of my head and hair to my shoulder. Not once. But twice in one smackin frackin week!
I was willing to write off one splat as chance, but two bird poop-bombs in one week, come on! Before you speculate, no, I was not under a nest and not really under a tree, just sorta under it.
What does that mean? All the bird superstition speculation I ferreted out on the web says this, “If a bird deposits droppings on you, it brings good luck.”
I have my suspicions on that one.
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We bought a cockatiel from a family for my grandmother. The family said the bird’s name was Mosses. Great. Mosses was a good companion for Grandma Rush for a few years, but then Mosses had to come live with Clan Rush. Mosses liked son Shamus and myself. The bird would fly around and if either of us put our arm out, he would come fly to us.
Funny thing about Mosses, there came a time he started to lose his feathers, and it was looking pretty dire for him. We woke up one morning and saw “he” had laid an egg. Mosses was Moe for the rest of his life.
I could find no references or superstitious beliefs on transgendering birds.
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I rest my case. Readers, feel lucky you don’t live in my head!
Your thoughts? Send them to Don@ShermanPublications.org