It's that time of year when everything seems dead, or at the very least, asleep.
This year winter at my house is a roller coaster ride of iced over car windows alternating with turning the car A/C on in the afternoons. It's not unusual to go from 20°F at night to almost 70 as a daytime high. It's overcast more often than it's sunny, and it's been raining so much I feel like Selma is challenging Seattle for the title of the rainiest city in America.
The winter darkness is brightened by the orange-red breasts of a flock of robins. A veritable herd of robins, come to winter in my neighbourhood. Everywhere I look, there are robins.
Back in Ontario, where I grew up, robins were solitary birds except for their mate. Together they raised two or three families and they never flocked together as starlings do.
Here in Alabama, robins flock. And they sing. Their song drifts through my open windows and lifts my heart out of the winter doldrums. They've created a game at the back of the house, where the wilderness borders the yard. They fly through the seemingly impenetrable bushes and branches, zipping through tunnels visible only to them, circling around to do it all again. Somehow they avoid collision, both with the woods and each other.
I wanted to share this with you because every year I'm fascinated all over again by these 'common' birds, who are really so very special. And when the full beauty of a southern spring is upon us, they will leave, off to northern climes to replenish the robin population.
I'm glad they spend their winters here. They are a small joy in the dark time of the year, when things can become overwhelming. God's choir, come to cheer us up. :-)