was mesmerized by the image of a robin perched on the rung of an arbor I had built around a bird bath in order to display the flowers I had planted right after the ground allowed me to do so. It was early in the evening right before the sun decided it had enough of the day.
The robin sat motionless staring into the dimming orb of light contemplating nothing more important than itself. Or at least I thought it was doing so. I had just finished what I considered a lousy day. Hell, I had just finished up a lousy month. Every time I attempted to get ahead financially some necessity in my life increased in price. The more I attempted to relax the more I was forced to speed my life up.
In my youth this wouldn’t have bothered me because the definition of being young was living hard and fast not caring what the future would bring because the future was too far away. But, now that I see what time is going to give me I find it more important to prepare myself and my family for what living too long is going to deliver.
Staring out a side window of my house I started to wonder what this mystery bird knew I didn’t know. How come with all its problems this bird seemed to be relaxing in a sun that no longer had the capacity to give heat and barely had the strength to give the day anymore light. I smiled thinking I was part of a species that was supposed to be the highest level of living things on the planet. We were supposed to be in control of all other life.
I smiled thinking maybe this was the problem. We thought we were so special we took it on ourselves to control all the living things around us. Maybe nothing else wanted to do this. Maybe the other species of the world were too smart to be fooled into thinking power meant peace. Thinking back into the history of our world I started to wonder if the dinosaurs, that once were supposed to rule the world, also became too tired to control what was uncontrollable and simply gave up.
I wonder if some giant reptile looked out from its cave and decided enough was enough because it too was mesmerized by something much weaker and smaller who was staring up at the same ball of light at another time seemingly relaxing in all its dying glory. Snapping out of a trance caused by a combination of yearning to relax and wonderment of something that was taking place in front of me I continued to watch the motionless robin stare into the dying sphere of light.
I found my head turning toward the sun hoping to see what this ancient reptile saw. Could the meaning of life be displayed for all of eternity on the face of a sunset but because we were too busy trying to endure we never took the time to see it. Could the meaning of all around us be so simple, so beautiful that as a species it is too simple for us to understand?
I stared deeper into the dying sun trying to concentrate on something my new feathered friend had probably discovered the second it broke out of its shell. The pastel colored light started to pull my mind or maybe even my soul to its center. I started to watch the light begin to flow around a vertex as if it were setting up some sort of scene that would make me understand everything and anything around me. I found my eyes begin to squint hoping not to miss any of the show in front of me.
I dared not look back at the robin I assumed was doing the same because I did not want to miss the chance of finally finding out why I was allowed to take my first breath. Then my phone rang and all that was displayed in front of me went away. Looking back to my arbor I had built in order to bring some beauty and serenity into my world I watched the robin disappear from its perch either upset at me for invading its world or had completed what it had originally set out to do.
For a few moments I actually felt like I belonged to something I have no clue as to what it is but has always been. I went back to my real world a little more informed yet a little more frustrated because I was forced to do so. The next morning as I was mowing my lawn I discovered a dead robin near my garden. In that second I understood what the robin had known as it was basking in the sun.
All the problems of our lives mean nothing because we are simply a part of time that will continue long after our moment is over. I buried the robin in my garden and continued my life in a more serene manner.
A robin in the sun.
By J. G. Fabiano.
Jim Fabiano is a teacher and writer living in York, Maine, USA
e-mail him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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