The Yellow Bird of Happiness

About 10 years ago, I was shopping in Weaverville and came across a pottery blue bird that was meant to go on a fencepost. Since we had just had a new fence put in because Jake, our labradoodle, tried to kill a neighborhood cat, I bought it. It sat on the gate post until last May 28th. I took the bird and happily installed it on the corner of the deck in my new home, happy to have it with me with all of its memories of the backyard in Tallahassee. Every time I looked out the door or window it made me happy to see the cheerful little bird in its new home, chipped beak and all. I mentioned this to Lynda who was with me when I bought it and she said that it really shouldn’t be left out during the winter, that it wouldn’t be able to handle the extremes of snow, ice, melting, more snow, ice, and cold. “But..it’s doing very well,” I said. She shrugged and looked at me as if I wasn’t very bright. photo Well…she was right. No sooner did she say it that, when I checked on the bird upon returning to Lords Valley after 2 weeks away, its wings fell off!!

In the spirit of full disclosure I send Lynda an email declaring that she was absolutely right. Not easy for me to admit of course but she was and she indicated to me that the birds were no longer for sale. It made me sad to throw out the little bird, so I put it in a drawer with the intention of gluing back the wings and living with it on the porch. Its chips and cracks would just add character, I thought, and into the drawer it went. It’s funny how we tend to give inanimate objects human qualities and I imagined the blue bird having memories of all the crazy things that happened while it was sitting on the fence in Tallahassee — the parties, the comings and goings, selling the house, new dogs, changes in the neighborhood — and then the big move to Pennsylvania. The blue bird must have wondered where it was and why it was suddenly in freezing temperatures and covered with snow (despite my efforts to keep its beak above snow line!).

Last Saturday I was surprised to receive a package from Lynda and upon opening it found a yellow bird just like the blue one. photo-3 It came with a lovely note that talked about making new memories in a new home and I was very excited to have the bird. I noticed, however, that it had a small chip on its beak. From this I deduced that Lynda gave me her happy bird because the potter is not making them anymore. So, the gift is even more precious and more special. I will not only treasure the yellow bird, but I will make sure to find a place for it on the porch where it is not exposed to the weather.

So you don’t think I just abandoned my little blue friend, I bought Krazy Glue and he is recovering nicely on the kitchen counter. I now have a reminder of Tallahassee as well as a reminder of how lucky I am to have a friend that recognized the importance of these little birds. photo-2