It's funny the things that can drag you out of a melancholic stupor. I was mindlessly watering a slightly brown and obviously very, very thirsty patch of grass by Thomas' tree this afternoon when I saw Lady bird fly back to the house, for, oh about the 9 millionth time this week.
She's one busy new mommy, that girl. Steve is very rarely around anymore and she spends all the energy that little body can muster fetching worms and grubs and whatever else baby birds gorge themselves on day in and day out. It doesn't matter that it was blisteringly hot this afternoon - and humid too - she was out there to-ing and fro-ing like a madwoman. A very doting and devoted madwoman.
Anyway, she deposited whatever gastronomic delight she'd found, presumably into the mouth of one of her chirpy little babes, and instantly flew away. And that's when I saw a tiny head peep out of the hole, peer around and open his mouth in anticipation of mom's return. No flies on this dude - he was making sure to get the next meal come hell or high water.
I caught a fleeting glance of a second little head behind the first one, but it disappeared pretty quickly, clearly out maneuvered by his more determined sibling.
And suddenly I was standing there, hose in hand, grinning from ear to ear.
It actually might have been the first smile of the day - or at least the first one with true and unbridled joy behind it. I've forced out so many strained, joyless smiles in the last 16 months that sometimes I forget what it's like to experience ones that are fueled by sincere pleasure. They feel good. Really, really good.
Geez, I love those birds.