Daily Archives: December 14, 2008

Winter & Birds

I actually started this post last December but was so astonished and disappointed in my memory I didn’t finish it.

I wrote it after hearing birds sing one December morning last year and remembering the poem, below, that I used to recite aloud in our empty two-car garage.

I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December
A magical thing
And sweet to remember.

‘We are nearer to Spring
Than we were in September,’
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December.

– Oliver Herford, I Heard a Bird Sing

I thought the poem was from the “Song of Solomon” and may have actually told people it was. When I looked the poem up on the World Wide Web I discovered that it was not part of the Song of Solomon after all, but by someone named Oliver Herford.

I realize, now, why I made the mistake. The book of poetry that contained I Heard a Bird Sing also held this part of the Song of Solomon:

For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;

Now I don’t feel so bad — they are both about winter and birds and in the same book.

Photo by James Jordan

W00t! W00t!

Ok. Coming from a mom, w00t doesn’t mean much, but this is w00tworthy.

Whitman Vikings Wrestling won the Mad Mats Wrestling Championship and had 5 wrestlers win the top honors. We had many more place as well.

The most exciting of the many exciting matches was J. D.’s championship match.

J. D. just started wrestling this year. He began practicing a month ago and had his first match a week ago. He was recruited to the team by merit of his size (he’s a heavy-weight — a hard-to-come-by weight class) and strength. Saturday he received a championship medal.

After his win he hugged nearly everyone in the room. What a feel-good moment it was.

A bald eagle story

Yesterday, on the way to a wrestling tournament, I looked up and saw a bald eagle soaring high above the strip malls along Norbeck Road in Montgomery County. I immediately thought it was a bald eagle by the way its wings were straight out (not in a “V” like a vulture). Any doubt diminished when I saw the flashes of white on its tail and head as it rode the wind currents.

I was excited to see this eagle, even though they are not uncommon anymore. I don’t get out to places where they are seen very often — so seeing this one pleased me — and made me remember my first bald eagles.

It must have been the late 1980’s and we were spending Thanksgiving or New Year’s Eve with my parents in their Wisconsin home. My dad was still my dad and he and I were on an errand to pick up some groceries in town. We’d just gone through the main part of Minocqua and were passing lake Minocqua. I looked over at the frozen lake and noticed ice fishermen. Then I noticed large birds flying over the fishermen and realized they were bald eagles. I let out a joyous curse word then immediately apologized for swearing in front of my dad. He laughed and pulled over so I could get a longer look at my first eagles. When we got back to the house I wrote, in large black letters on the not-yet-painted drywall “Dona saw her first bald eagle!” and the date of the siting.

Dad would often remind me of that day when we were together, but he may have forgotten about it by now. I haven’t forgotten though — it is a good memory I have of my dad.