Every bird in the south was singing around my house this morning as I unloaded the dishwasher. They sounded sweet but all I could worry about were the newly planted pea seeds outside in the garden. I imagined them perched up in the trees eyeing the dirt, just waiting waiting for the first one to sprout. I was sure that today they were going to destroy all of my hard work with just a few pecks. And suddenly I felt helpless and at the mercy of a few maniacal and menacing sparrows.
It doesn’t take much to throw me off kilter. This morning all it took was a handful of buried pea seeds and some song birds. But perhaps I should get metaphorical. Or is it allegorical? What is it that I teach my literature students? Maybe those birds were circling around me, waiting to perch and peck at my skull to get right at the front of my mind where my son is. He’s 7 and in first grade, and I worry about him failing reading and writing in school. Because he is. And those birds keep pecking and scratching and won’t leave me alone. What else can I do to help him? I’m away three nights a week teaching moody 20 year olds how to read poetry when I need to be at home helping my son learn to read instead. And every time one of my students emails me wanting to pass my class when they don’t even bother to come, I think of those pecking birds and my son who needs me more than they do. And I get angry at the injustice of it. My mind is such a fertile ground for those pecking birds and I work to protect it from them. But they circle. And they point me towards my worries and my failures. My children. My career. The laundry that will just never seem to stop piling up, suffocating me.
But this is the process. Every year we plant our seeds and the birds sing and they peck. And still every year the seeds sprout. They grow. Despite how much I worry. Despite how hard I work. With or without me, Spring always comes. Somewhere along the way I will learn to trust this process. Rejection, failure, struggling children, difficult jobs, messy houses, pecking birds. Soon my seeds will sprout and out will come the fruit that I’ve been long awaiting and working hard to harvest. I hope to trust this process. Someday maybe I will.