At work, I park in an underground garage. I’m usually one of the first ones in, so it’s mainly empty when I arrive. Empty, and echoing, and a bit creepy.
In the past few weeks, small songbirds have arrived and begun building nests in the various nooks around the structure. I find twigs and and little odds and ends that they drop, and see them swooping in and out as I come and go.
By the time I leave work, there are lots of cars, and people moving about, and background noise. But in the morning there’s nothing – very little movement, and a wide open space. Their bird songs are amplified, so I emerge from my car every morning to a loud symphony of busy little birds who barely notice my presence, and don’t flinch in the least when the sound of my car door slamming momentarily drowns out their chattering.
I suppose that means it’s spring again. These days, instead of just enjoying the changing of the seasons, I find myself wondering…how much longer will we have seasons? The winter was uncharacteristically warm here, and last summer was uncharacteristically wet. We’re experiencing a sea change. We talk sometimes at work about if it’s okay to enjoy mild weather knowing that the reason why it’s happening will have catastrophic consequences in the not-so-distant future. Our pleasures are tinged with guilt.
I carry that anxiety with me, but I don’t think the birds are aware. They carry on with their swooping and their nesting, and creating avian operettas in underground parking garages as if the world around them is just as it’s always been.