I have words today. Some days your head feels like it is brimful of words, like potent potion stewing in a cauldron, and on others, it is not unlike that stagnant body of water, still and smelly, flies buzzing, to complete the picture of listlessness. As a writer, you feel the relief of the former washing over you so gently, as the caress of your mother’s touch when you were young. What am I to do with these words? Possibly, let them float out of my head and onto this dormant blog of mine. In the hope of letting you know that I am around. Yes, still. Hanging on by a thread (to this blog of mine). And yet, hang on I shall. It is too beloved to be let go of just so.
It is a coolish breezy noon, even though the last couple of days, it’s been stewing hot. It stormed all of last evening, the trees swaying and dancing like dervishes, and the temperature dropped. It is a neat 18 degrees, and boy, am I digging it sat outside on my porch, listening to the singsong of the birds, and staring at the spectacle that the nodding green trees make against the cerulean of the skies, blotchy with clouds.
There is a touch of wistfulness here. Beneath our screened porch, in the rafters, an American robin’s built her nest. She had three young ones in it. Adi had been noticing her passage over days. Every time he stepped out, she would shoot out from beneath the porch, and straight into the woods. He went and examined the space beneath the porch — and sure enough spotted the nest that she had built with expert care. I too went and took a look. It is a cleverly built nest. You cannot look in from the outside.
I named mother robin, Mrs. T. I have been feeling her eyes on me. She is always watching. One day, I sat on the egg chair, swinging and enjoying the soft spring air. With her chest, rust red and thrust out, she stealthily hopped across the lawn, staring up at me all the while. She stood there for five whole minutes. On watching her closely, I realised she had a fat worm dangling from her yellow beak. She was wary of making her way to the nest. I spoke to her for a while. And I stayed still. In a heartbeat, she had flown into the nest. And then, I heard the faint chittering of the fledglings. Every now and then, I kept an eye on them by peeping through the slats of the porch floor. And found their tiny selves huddled in together, their maws opening wide every time with hunger. As they gained girth in weeks, they started staring up with beady eyes when I spoke to them. Today, I squinted my eyes and peeped through the slats, as has become my nosy little habit, only to find the nest empty. What a curiously empty feeling it is.
Yet outside the robin continues to sings. She is still around. And as she trills on, hopping around, and scattering the leaves noisily on the floor of the woods, I think of Shelley’s ode to the skylark that he espied upon during an evening walk and feel the beauty of his verse keenly:
“Hail to thee, blithe Spirit!
Bird thou never wert,
That from Heaven, or near it,
Pourest thy full heart
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.
Higher still and higher
From the earth thou springest
Like a cloud of fire;
The blue deep thou wingest,
And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest …”