The Goddess Speaks
Birds offer comfort in aging
If you are counting decades, not birthdays, you are into the aging process. For some it can be a lovely, even romantic stage in life. Others might find themselves facing pain. It can start with your legs, arms, neck -- or sometimes your heart.
What's to be done when you are old, with a husband or without; with in-laws, some difficult to like; and grandchildren, some well behaved and some not?
The usual advice is to exercise or take medicines, some of which you'd like to spit out (taking them with chocolate or pastry makes them more palatable).
I find solace among the birds.
Our condominium has a big garden with beautiful plants, flowers and birds. Using the wheelchair or a walker to experience the garden makes the morning a blessing.
The real pleasure for me is seeing the birds swarm to eat the bread crumbs I scatter lovingly. They prefer white bread to brown, or so it seems. Yes, the birds certainly are picky.
It's fun to watch them. They are God's gifts to all humanity.
The small gray zebra doves come in droves of 20 or more. They can be like watching children -- you remember how they used to fight when you were raising them.
The mynahs are fast and greedy. They remind me of the boys who grabbed from the girls, while the girls stuck out their tongues.
The most fascinating are the Brazilian cardinals, with their red feathers on their heads. They will not mix with the other birds. Perhaps they feel they are the aristocrats among God's feathered creatures.
The bulbuls, with black and white feathers tipped with red, are so proud. They make me think of priests.
Some birds will fight or chase one another. Lovers they might be, or couples, married or not. And why not unmarried? That would put them in step with the values of today.
My favorite is the cardinal who sits on top of a lamppost that is at the height of my shoulder when I am in my wheelchair. It looks at me boldly, as if to say, "Where's my food?"
Cardinals, after all, are next in line to the pope in the Catholic hierarchy. My cardinal friend makes my day. I wouldn't trade that visit even for a friendly telephone call -- much less one from a telemarketer asking for money.
Jovita Rodas Zimmerman is a former journalism and political science lecturer in the University of Hawaii system and retired from Frank Fasi's corporation counsel office in 1990.
The Goddess Speaks is a feature column by and about women. If you have something to say, write "The Goddess Speaks," 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210,
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