When I was a kid, I could never see the things that other people could see. I couldn’t see the birds pointed out to me, ever. I would stare into the blurred masses of branches and dappled wood, and by the time I thought I spied something of fur or feather, it had most likely moved on. I would sometimes just say Yes Right There, I See It! knowing full well it was probably a mottled leaf and not a finch at all. And then I got me some glasses for my 13th birthday, and after that the world had edges! Trees had leaves with shapes! And I could see the birds! (Too bad someone didn’t mention to me that the glasses I picked out could compete with birds of warmer climates, but that is for the memory banks. Because thankfully that was long before digital camera archives and I don’t seem to be able to find a single hard copy of evidence to the fact! Just imagine massive purple and black tortoise shell frames…)
Now that I do have the gift of sight, it is all I can do Not to stare into the trees for little shapes all the time!
Maybe it was the practised focus of all those years of trying so hard, that has helped me to hone in on the flighty little buggers. And maybe why I end up with a folder full of not quite perfect photographs that become screen savers for my computer. Because I appreciate the fact that I did see that woodpecker and did manage to capture a hint of robin in the trees!
There is still something beautiful about being able so save that moment. Or maybe it is just proof that now I am not making it up! Is that maybe why it is sometimes so frustrating that they won’t just play along and stay still when I am trying to take their picture? Cause I’ve got them now! I can see them! So stay still just for a breath more so I can focus my darn automatic smarty pants camera on you and not the branches around! Because now that I have a love of my camera, it is not enough to spot the bird. Now I want to capture it on film, to give it stillness. To share it out.
I suppose that is the gift of growing up. Appreciation for the things we have gained. And an ability to feel more comfortable talking to birds and snowy benches than other humans? No? Just me? Okay well that’s fine. It’ll be me and the birds then!
Amidst the branches there be treasures! Can you spot them?!