Robin at Sunset
"Robin at Sunset" (Molly, Age 5)

It was a bad day for the worms. Frozen for weeks, the snow-covered ground thawed in one of those misleading warm February days that hint at spring. Mud replaced the snow, and the worms had nowhere to hide.

Just before dusk, the birdfeeder freshly filled, the robins came calling. Well over a hundred red-breasted birds descended upon the lawn from every direction, and my daughter and I found ourselves witness to a winged winter’s picnic. It was as if a piñata had been opened up as the birds frantically gorged in the mud. They flew by our heads without care, their beaks too eager to take advantage of the thaw. They knew better than to think spring was here. The thaw was fleeting, better seize the day!

Excited by the sudden visitors, Molly ran inside and came back a moment later with her notebook, a pen, and some crayons. We perched ourselves in a nook next to the forsythia, where just a few minutes before she was trying to make friends with a rabbit by hurling some lettuce and carrots at it.

Now, sitting with canvas in hand, Molly began to draw the scene before her. Robins frolicked in their manic state, flying, hopping, and pecking all around us. It was a race against time, for the freeze would come in the cover of night and the worms would be safe come morning. The birds gorged, the sky bled red, and the sun began to show signs of calling it a day.

We sat there in our invisible state, witness to God’s creation, and visitors in our own backyard.

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