by Suzan Abrams

This morning, I awoke to the 29th with dreary thoughts of a March sludge. The first week spied me still in Dubai and London but the second one on, caught me with an onslaught of the flu and a jet lag I had quite forgotten, back here in Dublin. Neither would surrender or reconcile me to any moment of peace and gladness when I would feel the joys of sitting down to read or write anything at all. Instead, I was having to deal with the sniffles and the folly of an icy pessimism although I swear to a spirited optimism by nature.I live in a quiet suburb with cheerful tree-lined pavements. Spring nests in their infancy, herald a kinder season. As such, a beautiful community of birds – of which I shall never know the names of – signal the mostly merry mood of the moment. How they wail and blurt out operatic arias if you so will, from afar on the treetops and in my back garden – why, I have even spotted a rebellious skylark once shout rude names to a brisk and slightly deaf, north-easterly.

But this morning… a rather startling Irish Coal Tit and somewhat the loner, taught me much. I was in the kitchen making a coffee…and staring out the window. It was just a lovely spring. day, the kind to throw a celebrated weather without warning..the sun shone brightly, the sky was blue and a light cool wind made the trees dance. High on a red roof next door, sat my winged loner friend decked in its arresting shades of black-and-white and ready to bask in a contented drowsiness lazily provoked the sunshine. I have often seen it… a vibrant regal little creature, always restless and never perched on a branch for more than a few seconds. But here it sat now in meditative repose, staring happily into the big wide world. It was not interested in scraping a lawn for breakfast or meeting with its noisy feathered friends nearby. It was not interested in the recent to-do with helping build a nest. It was not interested in a soaring flight. Instead, it looked blissful and at peace with the world. I watched for a good while as the bird soaked it all in…the blue sky, the sunshine and the sight of those swaying trees. Caught in a moment of glorious solitude and so still was its rapture, that had ambition waved its wand, in its bid to stop and smell the roses, the bird may have clamoured quietly for an immortality and won. It had sought and grabbed the stilled secret of a time to be lived in the moment. And a time that would flee if not.That bird knew something about life I had missed, while etched in my own gloom and still clinging to the folly of weary memories from the last gay months. If blessedness is a word we still remember in forlorn days, then here it was busy counting them. How priceless for me life’s sudden lesson, when it arrives on the doorstep, without ringing the bell.