Saturday, December 6, 2008
A few years ago I had a head injury that left me with a condition called "benign paroxysmal positional vertigo"--I look up and to the right and the world I see begins to spin. It comes and goes, and I've gotten used to it over time, so it rarely limits me. These days I seldom notice it at all, except when I am trying to find birds in the canopy of trees, or high in the sky. Birds are worth it, though.
Today I was looking for them in the pecan trees--goldfinches, mainly. I went out to the garden with the camera and waited for them to come to the thistle feeder so I could get a good shot. I could sense them flying into the trees, staging there while they decided that it was safe to approach the feeder with me standing so close. I waited, too, until my curiosity got the better of me and I looked up. The branches shifted and twirled as the vertigo was triggered, but I stuck it out. By and by the dizzyiness settled down, and thus I stood there, watching them watching me.
The goldfinches come to my yard every winter, part of a larger, seasonal cycle of bird migration that has gone on for millenia, and will, hopefully, continue ad infinitum. Seeing them return always reminds me that there is a whole world that spins out there--constantly, faithfully--even when I am not looking up to see it doing so.