What’s not to like about being awakened by the pre-dawn song of the American Robin? Urban living has robbed us of the songs of coyotes, the grunt of bison, the bugling of elk and the amazingly loud chewing of moose, so it is with great joy that we welcome the songs of robins early in the morning. This morning Cassin’s finches, house sparrows, flickers and chickadees joined in just as the sun peeked over the edge of the buildings. We lay in bed smiling at these sounds of nature, only to be blasted out of our reverie by the Claxton call of a car alarm going off in our parking lot, joined by the scream of fire engines rushing off to an emergency.
It is different for us, living in the city. We miss the intimacy we had all those years living in wilderness’s backyard. But being able to walk or bike to work, to the library, to the grocery store, to a local coffee shop where I go to work on the book about our travels, or to enjoy a date night of dinner and a movie is an urban advantage. And living car-free is a global advantage, although we are not certain we will be able to make it work in the long term.
Lilacs are blooming in our neighborhood, as are currants and tall Oregon grape. Cherry trees, crabapples and others whose names I don’t know have fully blossomed. The snow we had on Monday melted the delicate petals to the ground, but shiny green leaves are replacing the pink and white flowers. Just like spring in the mountains, bud to blossom to leaf occurs so quickly; living things in a hurry to spread their seed.
Best of all news is that I can now ride by bike! I went for my first ride in three months last Sunday on a glorious 80-degree day. What’s not to like about that?