But by the time we were buying a home almost two years later, a mudroom became an obsessively important item on my homeowner's checklist. Luckily, we ended up with a pretty good one. It's not perfect, but it modulates the cold enough to keep shoes out there (and a mattress, as we currently do. Sigh. It's a long story). Our mudroom not only prevents wind, sleet, snow, etc. from hitting our front door, but it also provides a sound barrier. And it is via this topic that I return to my original story.
So the girls and I exit the mudroom, bracing ourselves for the cold, which does come as usual. But what causes us to pause in our snowy tracks is not the biting wind on this occasion but the sound coming from the trees.
Are those...birds? Vivi asks.
You know, I think you're right, I hear birds too! I reply.
What are they doing here? Charlie wants to know, puzzled.
We go so long throughout the winter without hearing a peep from the cardinals and robins. When they finally return, their miraculous lovely tones are striking enough to cause a three-year-old--who barely remembers their existence--to scratch her head and smile at the strange beauty of life.
For the birds, today I am grateful.
p.s. Remember the old Pixar short film, For the Birds? I'm going to play it for the girls when they get home from school. It's a great one!