"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." -Roald Dahl
Whenever we move, I know the magic of our new home will find us eventually, its the waiting for the magic that is so hard. I search for it, but this is a pursuit that always proves fruitless. Its like like trying to find the Christmas spirit. We all know you just sit patiently in the middle of a heavily decorated mall with bells on your socks and it finds you.
I don't believe in "wasted years" in "in-betweens" or "transitions," of which we will have many in this Foreign Service life. No matter how hard they may be for Paul and I, I never want the kids to feel like these "Oakwood" times are to be wished away, because nine months in kid years is an eternity, and nine months in mom years is like a split second and no matter the perceived length, I want it to be magical for us all.
We spent a lot of our early days here noses glued to the window, longing to be outside, maybe even hoping to see a toucan fly over. I don't know. In all our nose-pressing we noticed a few birds occasionally landing in the leafless tree just outside our second story apartment window. I had jotted "bird feeder" on one of our "to buy" lists as we got settled, but in my search for one in the periphery, while I stocked our home with essentials, it remained the one unchecked item.
When we got a surprise snow day a month or so ago that yielded a day off for Paul, a bunch of giant flakes and wet pavement, we took the kids to a special lunch and found ourselves, right next door to a wild bird supply store. Who knew? Me. Remember my other job is magician, Christmas sweater maker and bell sewer oner. So I nudged it along a little, magic maker that I am.
I had forgotten, living in a country where many people can barely feed and house themselves, that someone would purchase a costly home or food for a wild animal.
God Bless America.
After a lengthy wild bird discussion with the passionate wild bird store clerk we purchased a little feeder that we thought we could dangle ourselves outside of our second story window to hang upon our little tree, and a bag of "no mess" bird seed.
Also, God Bless America. Winter birds are tired of searching for food and when they find it just let them eat for God's sake.
We also happened upon "Eastern Birds" in the library and ta da! We now know our birds: We know that they eat an entire feeder worth of food nearly every day. We know they do not like it when we bang our tiny fists on the window while they are eating. We know that maybe they're fat enough now to open their own damn seeds so we can not spend an extra $5.99 on No Mess bird seed. We know that Clem can now say "bird" and that she can crawl at 6-7 miles per hour from the kitchen to the window when she spots them. We now know that this might just be a little bit of the magic we'll remember from here when we're gone.
This afternoon I made lunch for the kids and heard Pete begin to giggle from the dining room table: "Uh Mom? Did you give me birdseed for my lunch?"