We fly towards fall, and the weather gets more unpredictable by the moment. A cool day leads to a rainy day leads to a day so heavy with unrained moisture that by the end of an hour-long photoshoot with a new friend, I find myself collapsing out of my t-shirt into something without sleeves, then lying very still in the shade-dark living room. The forecast throws us up a little higher, then casts us down, and I look forward to the drop: the nights when I've had to bundle up against the cold have been my best sleeps yet.
On the way from the car to the farmers' market in the square, my flaming-sworded friend and I discovered a gorgeous all-white cocaktoo in an enormous cage. I struck up a conversation with it and was reminded yet again of how smart birds are. This one nodded and clucked to us a bit, kept my eye while we stayed there, started calling out after we'd crossed the street (though whether she was calling for us, I wasn't sure). When we walked past again, we paused to talk to her some more, and she began climbing around in circles in her cage, sometimes pausing to hang from the roof of the cage and look at us.
Once again, I find myself thinking that I should have a bird. I wanted a parakeet, back in the day, but didn't get one for all kinds of reasons, including the fact that I was nervous, and including the fact that I couldn't shake the feeling that I actually wanted a much bigger bird than a parakeet (though parakeets are also surprisingly smart: the one I cared for many summers ago would actually sing along to an opera CD and also liked to have Victorian poetry read aloud to her). A couple of years ago, when I was reconsidering my decision not to get a bird, a friend said, "I just want to remind you of how happy you were while you were taking care of that parakeet." It's true: I was besotted with having the bird. I was in love with having something waiting to see me when I came downstairs in the mornings. I enjoyed having company at the end of the night. And more than anything, I was startled by the fact that a bird could supply so many of these things.
Having a bird might require some things of me, in a way that would be healthy.