Day 22: Birdsong.

In the weeks since I locked myself inside, spring has arrived.

There’s still a chill in the air — the bracing temperatures actually took my breath away when I took the compost bucket to the alley this morning — but the light has changed.

The sun’s a little sunnier, as if to say, “I’m ready for my close-up.”


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Everything is a little greener: the brown, patchy lawn in the parkway just beyond the apartment windows has started showing sparse verdant growth. On my walk yesterday, daffodils in full, leonine buttery splendor. Hyacinths poking through the soil. Snowdrops and crocus replaced by shoots of bulb stalks that will explode into color overnight.

If the any-day-now mystery of those not-yet-bloomed flowers isn’t enough to get me out of the house for an occasional walk, I don’t know what is.

And mixed with the occasional sizzle of sweet potatoes roasting in the oven, rising over the clattering bing-bong of the CTA and the hum of Western Avenue traffic just beyond my little residential haven: birdsong.

The cats have been spending more time at their carpet-covered tree in the window; they’ve noticed the change. River’s own chirping — which begins when she actually starts to spot birds in their branches, desperate to obey that primal nature to hunt, to kill — won’t be far off.

For my part, I’m not sure I realized that birds stop singing during the winter. Or that their music was something i would begin to notice as the seasons began to change.

But Everything Out There now holds a little more wistful charm, a little greater sense of “beyond,” and those chirps rising over the city din are so beautiful this morning that I could cry.

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