Don’t Ask Me Why

I’m a birder.  A complete novice amateur, but I am birding, so therefore I am a birder.  Apparently it is not called bird watching.  It is called birding, like fishing or hunting, but nicer.  To be a birder, you basically need just a few things: functioning eyeballs, binoculars, a book or other resource to aid in bird identification, and some birds to look at.  Like anything else, once you start to pay attention, you see it everywhere.


Since I lost my daughter I have felt a pull towards birds.  I can’t explain why exactly.  Birds bring me comfort.  They are a beautiful distraction.  The subtle differences are intriguing.  But most of all, birds make me think of my baby girl.  I associate one particular bird with her especially, but all close encounters with birds, for some reason, make me feel closer to her.  Don’t ask me why.

I have started a birding Life List.  I want to remember all of these bird moments.  The whole process of spotting them, looking at them, studying the details, and then trying to positively identify them is a very satisfying process.  As I attempt to survive my grief and trauma, birds, at times, can help me keep my head above water.

My Life List is not all the birds I have ever seen in my life.  The list is every bird I have article-2028665-0D85BA0300000578-881_468x362positively identified since I started paying attention, around March 2017.

I saw a new bird today.  It made me happy.  Living with grief and PTSD as I do, happiness is a complicated feeling.  It always begins with happiness and then eventually changes into longing, despair, pain, and so on.  However, the birding happiness moment I had today inspired me to share.  So here it is.  My Birding Life List



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