EN Syndrome

First thing every morning I've found myself at the window checking the seemingly daily progress of the four Phoebe chicks nesting in the porch rafters.  There was a huge pleasure in watching their transformation from bald bits of breathing flesh to down-covered chicks to the fully feathered winged creature we call bird.

Finally the morning came when they were simply gone.  An empty nest. How quiet the day suddenly seemed. How strangely lonely.  The nest became an interesting collection of twig, moss and mud rather than a home packed with ever-hungry teenagers impatiently waiting for food food food.

But today the Phoebes have returned and are re-building.  Maybe she left to build nest number two, as Forbush suggested, and had some trouble. Or did she simply decide that the original nest would work just fine for brood number two.  It is a very good site, well-protected from rain and wind.  And pilfer-proofed against the likes of Teddy and Kate.  Why not use it again?

The thought of starting anew is enticing on so many levels.  The proverbial geographic cure for whatever may ail us.  The excitement of a new landscape.  The possibility of making new friends or taking a new lover. New bookstores to explore. New  restaurants with new menus. With so much that is new to see and new to do the thought takes hold that maybe I, too, could become more easily renewed in a new place.

A well-traveled acquaintance of mine assured me recently that until seeing the full moon rise over China's Yangtze River one could not truly fathom the depths of the moon.  Since I have not had this particular pleasure there was no way of determining if a moonrise over the Yangtze river was in fact an altogether superior experience to the same moon rising over the Bethel forest.

But I am somewhat well-traveled.  I've been to Johnson City, Tennessee. I've been hot and bone dry in deserts and enjoyed the delicious desserts New York City has to offer.  I've seen the the lovely Housatonic flowing through old mill towns of New England.  I know why they call the Mississippi mighty.  I've seen running salmon turn rivers gold in Alaska where eagles in tandem barrel-rolled the sky. And I've attended, with drunken pleasure, the Hardeeville Catfish Festival.

A lovely tree growing along side moving water, however grand or small, has the power to move me to delirious pleasure. A stroll through any forest has in it potential for my soul to take wing and soar. I have not tired of the altogether exquisite pleasure of watching the lovely Tiger Lily and her koi friends right here in our own backyard pond. And I do not think I will be requiring a new setting for that pleasure.

Maybe it was the same for the Phoebe.  Maybe she considered the new site against the old and decided to re-model, to touch-up, to make new the old.  Maybe she missed the koi.  Who knows?  Maybe she missed me.