Monday, December 28, 2020



The phrase "it's for the birds" has long been one of derogatory meaning...something that is worthless, not to be taken seriously, no good. Well, that sure is NOT how I feel about birds, as many of you know.

To my thinking it is a good thing that Laguna Beach is designated a bird sanctuary. . Their very presence so often brings joy to so many--from feeding the pigeons and gulls (which should not be done) at Main Beach to following the flight of an osprey to watching the antics of an armada of brown pelicans just offshore. 

Birds seem to play a part in my own joy and often appear in my artwork in myriad forms.From the onset of twittering birdsong at dawn right on through midnight hooting of owls or the crazy trill of a nighttime mockingbird nearby, I am filled with the joy provided.

Then there is the soft cooing of doves, the laughter of gulls, the scurrying of shorebirds, the near-constant caw of masterful black crows and the the shrill, harsh cry of the occasional scrub jay.

And flight--what of flight? We have soaring hawks on alert for prey in our many canyons. Evening brings the migration of large numbers (yes, murders) of crows up through these same canyons. 

The aforementioned brown pelicans either swoop low over the ocean or fly in formation high above the cliffs, then comically dive with a graceless splash to obtain some morsel below. There is even the occasional roadrunner clumping along before catching a current to ride down canyon from the fire road. It's almost possible to feel the soar in your own bones.

Each year I eagerly await the sighting of pairs of black oystercatchers with their red-orange bills and loud, piping call. These can usually be spotted on the rocks below Crescent Bay Park and I find myself listening for their sounds as I walk that direction. It's that joy thing, right?

Just outside I watch as a territorial Anna's hummingbird, with its wings beating oh so rapidly chases off an intruder from the feeder. And I think to myself...there are so very many opportunities for joyful moments if we stay tuned in and watch for them.

If you're just not into the bird thing as I am (in fact, think my thinking is for the birds) well what of a child's easy laughter? Or the baby's soft smooth skin, the very miracle of its being? What of the sound of water gently rushing over rocks or lapping at the shoreline--joyful music for sure? The mysterious beauty at the very center of so many flowers and so many other of nature's bounties are wondrous (and joyful) to behold.

I need not go on, right? Get going. Just do it. Choose joy (yes, again!)

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