One Saturday Morning

It was spring in Carmel. There were birds. It always
feels like spring in Carmel. It still felt like deep winter
back home in Fairbanks. There were Bushtits and Band-tailed
Pigeons, Acorn Woodpeckers, Western Scrub-Jays
and a Brown Creeper, Black Phoebes, Spotted and California
Towhees, a Townsend’s Warbler, and others; a gull floated
high overhead. I stood on the patio in the least layers
I’d worn in months. I held you, legs wrapped by my right arm,
between my wrist and elbow your seat. You’d only recently begun
pointing out the living room window at trucks and cars moving along
the hardpack snow on the road back home. There were birds—
a whole new community for you—and the American Crow
on the wire was the largest, and so I thought the easiest
for your young eyes to perceive, so I pointed up at it, and you
pointed with me with what was surely my hand when
I was your age, but your eyes didn’t follow our fingers.
They looked to me and out and inward like when we
listened to music in the kitchen back home in Fairbanks
with our waving hands in the air, but on the patio there
was no music save birdsong. I pulled my hand back
and jabbed it at the crow, and we’re doing an old disco move.
I leaned back with you in my arm and watched your eyes
roll down in your head to stay level to the horizon.
After a couple of tries the crow cawed and ruffled its feathers
at us, and you discovered it. O, your emphatic finger showing me
that there was a crow on the wire—acknowledging that bird
and then others. You revealed not what I knew—that there
were birds one Saturday morning in Carmel—but made me feel
again how the world opens before a curious body—our bodies.


  1. A beautiful poem about the awakening to the wonders of life experienced during childhood and the gift that our children bring when they remind us of the joys we take for granted. (I love the Saturday Night Fever reference).

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