I returned to Council Point Park this morning after an absence of over a week. I missed going there. Though the trip to the River is nice, I do enjoy my escape to the little nature nook stuck in the middle of the Big City, plus the resulting peace and tranquility I get from visiting there. It was very early when I arrived, but the perimeter path was already filled to capacity with walkers, a jogger pushing a baby carriage, a rollerblader and a bicyclist or two. Even a few squirrels scurried along the path looking for handouts, and I briefly felt remorseful that I had left their Ziploc peanut pack behind on the deacon’s bench when I dashed out the door.
The air was alive with the usual Park songbirds, and the trees were atwitter with whistles and cheeps as I walked along the familiar path. But, suddenly I heard a new and different tweet as I swiveled my head around to determine where the pretty melody originated from. I was lucky enough to see a beautiful goldfinch jumping on a nearby bush. His bright yellow body and striking white and black markings stood out like a beacon in the drab green foliage, and he hopped from branch to branch, warbling his song. I tried to match him tweet for tweet, but could not, and so he quickly abandoned me, probably in search of a better whistler to accompany him than me. He reminded me of my little Buddy sound asleep at home, and I sighed heavily because I knew I was going to ruin Buddy’s day with a trip to the vet later in the morning.
I finished my path loops and headed for home. Suddenly, I heard a rhythmic clicking noise and laughter behind me. My curiosity piqued, I had to turn around and see what was happening. It was a middle-aged couple riding along Electric Avenue on a bicycle built for two. Well, they looked pretty darn happy, pedaling all their cares away, and the woman’s laughter just lit up the still morn. They almost looked like twins in their black bicycle pants and powder-blue tees and they even sported matching black fanny packs. The man, who brought up the rear, was now laughing too, and trying hard to tip a water bottle to his lips at the same time. Their gaiety was infectious and I was sorely tempted to start singing, or at least humming, a few bars from “Bicycle Built for Two”, having memorized it during my accordion lesson days.
All too soon I was home, and got cleaned up and swigged some chocolate milk, then went to wake Buddy to get him ready for his vet visit – just toenails clipped today. As a general rule, just as soon as I remove Buddy’s covers and carry his cage out to the kitchen from the den where he sleeps, he immediately comes to life and breaks into non-stop singing. Then, after his initial serenade to me, I say “well good morning back to you little one.” For the second time today I felt guilty – me, with a natural high, just fresh off my nature walk, but I knew his bubbly nature would soon be dashed and his happy bubble would burst, when we strayed from our familiar morning routine. I started removing a toy and a treat which hang on the access door so that the vet could reach in and grab that little nipper to nip his toenails. Uh-oh … Buddy’s radar was up immediately and he got quiet. He knew he was going somewhere and he was suddenly subdued … so was I. He had a five-minute visit with the vet, and he must’ve squirmed as there were three large wing feathers laying on the floor of the cage, and soon we were back home to begin our regular ritual. I think it takes more out of me than Buddy, who the vet tech said was singing away in the back room and entertaining the staff. What a ham!
Once we were both settled back in, and throughout the day, I thought of that middle-aged couple on the bike built for two, and their unbridled joy in such a simple pleasure as pedaling along and just loving life.