Symphonies end and crowds disperse, but avian serenades, the siren’s gift of song, never die in San Antonio. Boat-tailed scatterings, that physical evidence slowly burning through your auto wax, ruining your detail, make me smile. More because of, than in spite of, the cursing it inspires, perhaps.
The gab of feathered, iridescent brilliance displayed by our resident grackles reminds us that something other (other than ourselves) still lives here. Still with us despite the plasticized cables and toxics-treated phone poles extending our domain with asphalt, concrete, steel, exploding tires, and brake pad fluff.
We don’t hear the chickadees, or quail, or meadowlarks, or nighthawks; we’ve divorced them in exchange for intemperate freeways and drive-through conveniences. I should be appalled that it takes well-positioned owl-featured plastic blocks and electrified wiring to restore a semblance of ecological balance here. But I choose to love the anarchy of grackles more. It quells my disgust in the current state of the built environment without replacing it.
Slowly, strategically (that is: politically), the green spaces are returning to many urban centers and we again find the wild pacing in anticipation. Still some songs are lost to us forever.
Around the great shopping megaplexes, where we scatter our wrappers and waste for another’s pickings, you find them gathered, patiently picking the grills of our vehicles clean of our unintentional insect offerings.
See the birds, injured and worn by the city. As we all are.
Still they stay with us. Listen sometime. Separate your awareness from your auto wax and highway stress and listen. Listen with emptiness. There is singing right now. Nature’s remaining ambassador sings, ‘It has not ended.’ It should make you glad.