Little Birds

This morning, I was walking home from the sub. I’d just gotten breakfast. Most people on this campus do that. On a weekday morning, most of those people would have then headed off to class. It is, however, Saturday. Some people immediately run off on trips with friends after breakfast. I am not one of those people. Some people walk directly back to their houses or dorms after breakfast. That’s a bit closer to what I did this morning, but I did not take the shortest path. There is an argument to be made that the shortest path is the most efficient, but that is nonsense. It’s the most time-efficient, but one sacrifices exercise.

Also, if I’d taken the shortest path I wouldn’t have seen the birds this morning. I was swinging around the northwest side of campus to enjoy the nice, rainy weather when I saw them. If I were a birdwatcher I could have identified them, and if I were diligent about photography I might have photographed them, but I did neither. They appeared to be less than half a foot in length and darted about with the speed and agility of insects. As they hopped about beneath the shelter of the trees, the birds didn’t seem to care that it was raining. They didn’t care about anthropology or mathematics or philosophy. They certainly didn’t care about politics.

If this were another era, I might say that we can always have faith in little birds. That though kings and empires might rise and fall, the little birds would always be there. But I can’t say that honestly. Not now. In a time and place where Wrath has come into vogue, it’s hard to be optimistic about the future. Still, I liked the little birds. If I were a more brazen writer, I would dedicate myself to saving them on the spot. As I am, I merely pledge to remember them.