Monday, October 15, 2012

Just being and birds in the local park


She asked to go to the park.

We’d dropped her sisters at school and were on our way home. Someone was coming for lunch. The floor needed vacuuming. The bathroom needed scrubbing. The washing needed hanging out. I wanted to make soup and deliver it to a friend. The day was cold and damp, and I’d forgotten my scarf. We were on the bike. I almost said no. But...

Fifteen minutes, I said. Fifteen minutes, then home.

And at the park we found six rainbow lorikeets, learning to fly. Hop, jump, flutter, flap; they bumbled back and forth. Up on a pole, and onto the roof of the play fort. Back to a branch, and whoops-a-daisy, a bird chose a twig too weak and was flopped upside down, raucously indignant as it hung. We stood in a patch of weak sunlight, entranced.

Like little children, the birds fell into a wrestling match. They tumbled over and over the grass, shrieking and beating their wings. Watching the whirlwind of bright feathers and squawks, we hollered and laughed.

Then up they flew for more flying practice. In a moment of quiet, she rested her head against my chest and listened. Kerthump kerthump, is that your heart? she asked, while the lorikeets flapped higher and higher, into the very treetops.

The birds were gone. She hugged me, then walked to the bike trailer and popped on her helmet.

Home now, she said.

To think I’d almost said no.


  1. M and I watched two fledgling minahs in our lemon tree the other day - we were probably as entranced as you two. It brought us together in a new way - no longer mother and son, but friends as well. You and the girls taught me that it's okay to be friends with my sons. Thanks Ali. Love you.

    1. Ah well, we share a house with the kids, we may as well enjoy them! We now have some minahs in our front yard, quite ridiculous - glad you have enjoyed such things too! al.

  2. Bravo for not saying no, and thank you for sharing. It's so easy to go at adult pace and miss the beauty in every day:)

  3. Thanks people - so glad I didn't say no; such moments always make me wonder what I missed out on the times I haven't managed to say yes!


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