I often think about happiness, and how difficult it is to capture it in words without sounding coy or ridiculous or trite. For me, birding consists of moments of pure happiness, joy so deeply rooted, so integral to the person I’ve become that I couldn’t find the words for it if I tried. I will keep trying to grasp at the words, but in the meanwhile, here’s a photo that pretty much says it all. I’m holding a Bufflehead at the banding station at Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station, the piece of Toronto paradise where I volunteer (with a stupid grin on my face for most of the day, even, and especially, when I’m scribing, which has turned out to be the most senselessly thrilling part of spring and fall). We banded the bird, and shortly after posing for this photo I released him by hurling him into the air over a half-freezing patch of Lake Ontario. And off he flew, out of sight.
And look — my hat matches the Bufflehead’s plumage! What a presentiment I must have had while picking out my outfit and rifling through my closet at 5am! As I said, senselessly happy.