January 20, 2007
The bluebirds are house-hunting this morning. I had to call Philip and tell him, describe the way one female in particular kept poking about the hole of the house on the side of the water oak outside the kitchen window, nosing in and out as if unsure, tilting her head in examination, while her brightly-colored husband waited patiently on the roof for her to make up her mind.
“He’s probably thinking about all he’ll have to do to make it suit her tastes,” Philip laughed, in obvious sympathy.
She flew away, and in a flurry of indecision came back again. Then together they were off, no doubt spurred by the lengthy list of potential properties about this place, the crisp blue of the male’s feathers a flying spot of joy on the morning air.
We do try to make the bluebirds as welcome as possible around here. There are at least half-a dozen houses for them perched on fence posts and nailed to trees. They had always been a longed-for sight for me before I came to live in our dear old farmhouse—I could count on three fingers how many times I had caught a glimpse of a bluebird up until that first summer when we were married. Then I felt positively giddy at the abundance of them—flocking in the yard or along the drive by the dozens, flitting back and forth from fence rails or lower branches of the walnut trees, always their lovely blue an absolute miracle of beauty.
It’s no wonder to me that from ages long past bluebirds have poetically represented happiness. My heart literally leaps up with it each time they flash by. And there’s a particular little pleasure of my own in the fact that we’re so liberally endowed with them. They are—always have been—a small emblem, a living image, of the happiness we’ve known here.
We realized last night that it was eight years ago today that Philip asked me if I wanted to live here—he had proposed the night before. I didn’t have to think about my answer—despite the fact that this house had been a confirmed bachelor pad for the previous eight years, bearing all the marks of such. I wouldn’t answer any differently now. Truly, ‘my boundaries enclose a pleasant land’.
Philip said he’s going to stop on the way home and pick up some cedar for more bluebird houses. It looks like the housing market’s going to be booming this spring.