When the sun lifts  itself above DeKalb Avenue plunging the low brick buildings and glass storefronts into a a long, deep grey shadow, it floods the park trees and grounds with new, golden, ancient light. I breathe as deeply as I can. I look around more than I did a moment ago. I am thrilled to be in the light

One morning a few days after the March equinox, an impulse told me to climb the steep side of the hill opposite the tennis courts. It’s a small hill and  the slope hides the top. I huffed and puffed, stumbling over the loose, crumbling dirt, keeping my hands warm in my pockets, feeling the blood throb in my ears. Sebastian was sniffling his way along the wire garden fence.When I finally pulled myself up, I discovered a flock of thirty or more robin redbreasts spread out all over the long, grassy top, alongside the trees they’d roosted in the night before.

Each robin surveyed their common domain without a cheep or a flicker of a feather. Their darting eyes, the microscopic tilts of their round black heads, their elegant slanting backs, their  angled, spindly legs —  all these gave their silence a huge and immeasurable shape.  Their red breasts kept glowing as the sun rose higher. The sun had not yet warmed or tuned them up enough.

Sebastian brushed my leg as he moved on. I grabbed him around the middle to keep him from charging, leashed him and then led him around so I could watch the robins from the other side. They were still silent. Two finally ran to different spots like road runners. A couple of others executed minute hops to get out of their way. No one else budged.


It was time to leave.  I let Sebastian off the leash for one final run home and we left the robins to guard their futures. The shadows along DeKalb Avenue are lightening up, little by little.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. leagpage
    Apr 24, 2013 @ 19:35:33

    Were the robins sleeping?


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