The other day I was painting the fence that resides around the little garden that belongs to the apartment/flat I live in.
The paint looked like a mass of melted chocolate, and as I mixed it round the pot with a stick, I was almost tempted to taste it. The odour it possessed, however, ruined the chocolate illusion.
Anyway, as I painted the wooden fence panels, turning them satisfyingly from a natural wishy-washy, weather-worn grey, to a rich oak brown, I noticed a little robin land a couple of metres away on one of the posts, and it had a look at what I was doing.
I said hello to it, and made I few tweeting noises. I’m not well versed in robin language, so I hope I didn’t inadvertently say something offensive, but it responded by flying over to the other side of the fence. It continued to watch, and I imagined it was thinking something along the lines of, “What are you doing there? Are you digging in the soil? Have you found any grubs?”
This robin moved its head about inquisitively, and I was honoured that it stayed so close without fearfully flying away from me.
It made me think, what do animals think about? How do their thought processes work? Do they think like I, and humans do? Or are they just thinking very simply thoughts; the basics of survival?
However they think, I like to believe that this robin was taking a genuine interest in my activity. Like humans watch birds doing their daily tasks, perhaps they too like to watch what people are up to.
I saw this robin a second time a bit later, as I painted (presumably the same robin, though it could have easily been another, though I think it was the same little fella).
When I had finished painting, I went into the garage and heard a noise.
A robin had gotten in there and was flapping about at the window, trying to get out.
Was it my friend from earlier?
I caught him/her in a towel and took them outside to release. The poor chap looked understandably stressed and flew onto a nearby railing. It stayed there for a minute, before flying into a tree, and another minute later it disappeared.
I hope that robin went on to be alright, and didn’t suffer any adverse affects from its ordeal.
And so, my trivial fence painting task had turned into so much more. It became a glimpse into nature, into the life and trials of a small winged creature.
And that’s how it is with life: sometimes you set out to do something, and end up discovering something completely new and unexpected in the process.
Sometimes it can be something bad, but sometimes, it can be something amazing.
So I hope humans notice and enjoy the little surprises and insights that nature can provide.
People are a vast number on this planet, and the dominant species, but don’t forget all the little inner ‘worlds’ that co-exist with ours. They are just as precious, just as remarkable, and just as important.
Image from: Pixabay.com