Before the grass turns green with the Spring rains, I am on the lookout for red-winged blackbirds. Why? Because in our family these small black birds with the red and orange stripes on their wings were the earliest harbingers of the fairer season.
Most people look for robins in the Midwest. I always look for my little red-winged blackbird friends. By the end of February and definitely by the beginning of March I have been scanning nearby barren fields for their black bodies and colorful wings. The first one of the season always brings shouts of joy. Spring is on its way! Hooray!
This year, though I spotted my first red-winged blackbird around the end of February, I have not been able to celebrate Spring as I would have liked. A broken leg will definitely put a damper on that. So, instead, I have been listening for the song of the chickadee.
These have been very special to me ever since I was a child. They call in two different ways. There is the “chickadee-dee-dee-dee” and also, the “Ri-ti, Ri-ti.” I know people say that they are calling “fee-bee” or something similar, but my daddy told me that they are really calling my name.
Since dad passed away almost ten years ago, every time I hear a chickadee singing my special name, I am reminded of him. He was not a perfect dad, by anyone’s standards. He did the best he could. I cherish the good memories of him and try to forget the not-so-perfect ones. I think he would have wanted it that way. Love you, Dad!