musings about food, travel, creativity and life

Feathery Friends

Birds are everywhere these days, at least in Carmel Valley. In the morning I hear them call to each other and I see them, little whiffs of color, flit from feeder to feeder. Crows land in our oaks, birds of prey soar over the valley, doves peck around at our wooly thyme and take their daily baths and now and then a Cooper’s Hawk rests on a Eucalyptus branch. A little bit of bird heaven.

And now the birds have even joined us at the dinner table–well, kind of…John and I are working on a 1000 piece puzzle called Avian Friends (by Geninne D. Zlatkis) pictured above. We started it about the time “shelter in place” began.

We are loving working on it: it’s a fun task to do together or alone. It requires focus, is challenging and rewarding, and at the same time, it is a pleasant diversion. Plus, the bird imagery is colorful, whimsical and uplifting.

Small mishaps and miracles have been a part of the puzzle endeavor. One mishap was when John spilled his coffee on about 100 yellow/gold pieces. The top portion of each piece separated from the bottom. As we put together that yellow/gold bird, we discovered that one central piece was missing. Perhaps it had been tossed out inadvertently during the coffee clean up. Or might the coffee have wiped away its color? I immediately started thinking about how I could craft a substitute piece with my watercolors.

Then, two days ago, I spotted a white puzzle piece under the table. I don’t know how I could have missed it for all those days with all those vacuuming, but I had. When I turned it over, it was that lone missing yellow piece that now sits proudly in the center of its yellow bird body. Ah, yes…a small miracle. We need those.

At times, the puzzle seems metaphoric to our current world situation. Each little bird unit is both separate yet connected. Each is discreetly in its own space but part of a greater whole.

We still have a ways to go on our puzzle, but I’m keeping faith that it will be made whole again. I hope the same for all of us and our world. Stay well, all!


“Hope” is a thing with feathers-

That perches in the soul-

And sings the tune without the words-

And never stops-at all-

          Emily Dickinson

6 thoughts on “Feathery Friends”

  • Beautiful! I was thoroughly enjoying today’s blog. I was thinking, “Good job,’ Lynn!” Then I got to the end and immediately burst into tears. What happened? I saw and read my favorite poem by Emily Dickinson. It moved me even more than it usually does. All my pent up fears gone with the tears… least for now. Thanks to the birds, Emily and you, dear Lynn.

    • Thank you, Trudy, for sharing your reading experience. That Hope poem is a powerful one. I had a teary morning too. You phrased it beautifully…”all my pent up fears gone with the tears.”
      Releasing is healthy. As are dear friends like you♥️

  • Molly and I did that same puzzle a couple of years ago. It was one of my favorites! I just bought a large piece puzzle to start since my vision is mildly impaired from macular degeneration now, and I can no longer discern the details of smaller pieces.

    The last comment to your post hit home since I’ve also shed quite a few tears this week. Fear and grief….so glad it’s springtime, so we can enjoy the birds, bees and blossoms!

    There is a global mass meditation for healing tonight at 7:45pm PDT for 20 minutes. You might want to join in bringing healing light to our planet and humankind at this time of suffering.

    Big bear hugs your way!

    • So glad you got to experience this puzzle—it’s a winner. And good luck with your next one. And I will join you and others tonight at the meditation. Thank you. It’ll be nice to be sharing that time together. Sending you and your dear girls and family lots of love and well wishes♥️

  • Good morning – catching up on your blog. I love this piece. We can certainly relate to the gifts the birds give us.
    We have a collection of birdhouses that fill our pond garden. Just yesterday Rich notice we have a nest working in
    one of the houses. A gift that will keep on giving. Last year we watched hatchlings as they grew and became fledglings.
    Great fun.

    • How lucky you are to have some nests around. And how lucky we are to be able to hear the bird songs each day. They lift our spirits.

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