Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Bluebird of Happiness

Somewhere over the rainbow
bluebirds fly ...
                                            --Over the Rainbow, Harold Arlen

Yesterday morning when my husband was walking our dogs,
he came upon an Eastern bluebird that sailed across the street in front of him.
When he told me about it, 
it reminded me of the bluebirds that we had seen
flitting in and out of the cedar trees at Chippokes Plantation last May.

photo courtesy of morguefile.com

And it also reminded me of  the first time I had ever seen a bluebird.
It was memorable, but not the way one would expect.
Many years ago I worked in a building in a residential area near the Elizabeth River.
One day my coworkers and I heard a loud thump 
as a small Eastern bluebird flew smack into our office window.
We were on the ground floor,
so we pulled the door open and went to investigate.
The bluebird lay motionless on the ground, apparently dead.
But just in case it was only stunned,
we brought it inside to protect it from the cat
 that often prowled across the grassy lawns around the building.

We placed the bluebird in a small open box 
and watched as it slowly revived.
After several minutes, the bird blinked its eyes, shook a little, 
and looked first this way, then that.
So we opened the door and stepped outside with it.
But before we could take another step, the bluebird lifted its wings 
and flew straight up into the sky.
The suddenness of its departure took my breath away.
It happened so fast, our senses could barely take in
 the fluttering sound its wings made as it took off
for the safety of the trees.

And to this day, the sight of a bluebird lifts my spirits.
Makes me think the mythical "bluebird of happiness"
just might be real after all.

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