Sunday, February 24, 2008

Should I Have Chased That Robin Away?

The weather had been unusually warm for winter, and early one morning looking out of my window I had the pleasant surprise of seeing the slender twigs of the little cherry tree in my front yard laden with pink blossoms. In the middle of a dreary winter landscape, it was a sight for sore eyes indeed.

Then a robin came alighting on a cherry branch, its red breast gleaming in the morning sun. It was the perfect picture -- the bird, the cherry blossoms, the sparkling dewdrops against a limpid blue sky. It was breathtaking.

Suddenly I realized that the robin was plucking the dainty pink flowers with its beak then dropping them to the ground. Soon one twig after another became bare while pink petals were strewn all over the dark mulch below. Indignant, I was about to step out to chase the robin away to protect my flowers. Then I had second thoughts and hesitated.

If I shooed the bird away then I would have my cherry blossoms intact for maybe a week, their beauty would delight me for a few more mornings. But it was the robin that was making the picture lively and perfect, albeit short-lived. Between the ephemerally perfect and the durably fair, what should I choose?

I sat down, let nature take its course and enjoyed the scene as long as it lasted. Still sometimes I wonder if I should have chased that robin away instead.

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