Of Dog Days and Guilt
It’s hot. There is nothing unusual about this, being mid-August and all. And in a few days it will be cool and cloudy, if you can believe the forecast. But for now, it is hot and I am inside, where the temperature is a tolerable 77 degrees F.
I have felt a little anxious about not going birding this weekend. If I don’t get out at least once a week, I feel restless and a bit cranky. Oddly enough, I have also felt a little guilty. I am a birder. There are several species I have not seen. There are many species I would enjoy seeing again. I should go look for them.
It’s not like I haven’t been busy. I have hauled gravel for the parking lot, bought groceries, sang with the Oregon Chorale, had a dinner meeting, watched four episodes of Battlestar Galactica, and made a mean batch of aloo matter. And if I had had a client this weekend, I would be out there sweating away and finding lots of neat birds. But I choose to stay at home and forgo my birding needs.
And that’s OK. We need to remind ourselves that our pastimes are not all that we are. Sometimes life presents other opportunities or just gets in the way. We need to allow this. Occasionally, just every now and then, we need to remind ourselves that it is just a ball game, or just a science fiction series, or (dare I say it?) just a bird.
So I will venture forth again next week, when the weather is cooler and the birds are challenging me to find the vagrant among them. In the meantime, I will enjoy the Lesser Goldfinches at the feeders and the Rufous Hummingbird in the garden.