As of tomorrow morning, we will be moving toward light. The darkest day of the year will be behind us, and we will inch toward spring ever so gently, but insistently. And note that I’m saying Spring rather than Summer, because my world seems to have shifted about 45 degrees ever since I started birding, and it’s Spring and Fall I now tend toward.
The darkening days of November and early December usually drain me entirely, but this year it’s been a little different. I’ve started going on morning walks, and I time my return home with the beginnings of a sunrise. For some reason attending to the rising sun daily has been a positive ritual and I haven’t minded the dark early evenings quite so much. And with the sun (or just a lighter shade of grey, depending on the day), I walk home past a congregation of chattering dark-eyed juncos every morning. The combination of light and frenetic excitement of juncos preparing for their day has somehow made things slightly more palatable.
And yet, I’m so very much ready for the return of light, and birds. But in the meanwhile, I will continue to enjoy the morning sunrise and I will continue to attempt interpretations of the vociferous juncos. Once the light returns for real and the spring migrants start appearing, the juncos will be no longer in these parts. Isn’t it amazing how there’s always a tradeoff in natural cycles?
So perhaps for now I will enjoy exactly what I have: the dark, the juncos, and an occasionally startling sunrise. And, more specifically, right now: wonderful meals with friends and family, celebrations, getting to know a brand new nephew whose spectacularly long fingers surely suggest he’ll be a talented birder, and an unexpectedly great new haircut (fingers crossed that I’ll figure out how to use my new rounded brush and will be able to “style” it myself; really I just wish I could borrow the coiffure of a Cedar Waxwing).