I am preparing mentally to have surgery again, but just replacing my pacemaker with one that includes a defibrillator. That will be at the end of the month, about ten days before we leave for Italy. So, I was trying to think of other things to keep my mind on something other than doctors and hospitals.
One morning, sitting on the screened-in back porch, I listened to the birds singing in the trees. My mind wondered what it would be like to talk to birds, specifically what kinds of questions would I ask them. I would call to the nearest birds and say, “Can I have a word with you?”
What is it like to soar through the air? Where do you guys go in storms? What do you do for fun? Have you ever opened your beaks during a rain storm and had a contest to see which one could hold the most water without falling off the limbs?
What is your favorite type of bird seed? Do you sleep at night, or is that a human thing? How do you feel when you have to push your babies out of the nest? Do they come visit or do you have to go to their abode? That question really interests me, as I have a son only 45 minutes to an hour away and I see him and his children only if I drive to his house. It’s like a one-way road. I hope the birds are luckier!
Then, how does love feel to you guys, or is it just instinct, with no real emotions? Do you ever look at humans and wish you could be one? When you are singing in the morning, are you sometimes praising God? Do you know Him and that He knows if you fall out of a tree? How do you relax, or don’t you all feel the stress of living and wondering why you exist?
Even as a child, I loved the television shows like Mr. Ed, the supposedly talking horse or one of those movies with cats or dogs or other animals talking. I wanted to be Dr. Dolittle, communicating with all animals, acknowledging their thinking abilities.
The older I get, the more I find myself contemplating the what-ifs of life. As I come face-to-face with my mortality, reflection on the questions that have interested me since childhood gives me opportunities to put aside the problems of the day, affording my soul and heart a period of rest and my mind a moment of pure whimsy.