Tea Scrolls

The Words That Come Out Of My Mouth When I Drink Tea

Tea Scrolls

Tea Scrolls
Location
Columbus, OH, Ohio,
Birthday
March 13
Bio
Where do I start? My name is Cheryl and I'm always dreaming up the "impossible." I love writing because it helps me find my voice. Maureen Murdock once said, "the job of a memoirist is to find her truth." So I'm finding my truth, one page at a time. I'm an entrepreneur who writes about business, an immigrant who writes about my childhood in Africa, a woman who writes about women's issues, a lover who writes about love, and a deeply spiritual person on a journey within self-actualization and I'm writing about that too. Join me?

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FEBRUARY 17, 2011 7:10PM

Birds

Rate: 7 Flag

Birds fascinate me. 

Perhaps because as a kid, I would watch as they made their nests in the trees by my bedroom window.  Or because they would amuse me in the mornings when they waged war on the chickens.

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Now I see this one at least once a week outside my window.

When I was small and living in Africa, we had a few people living with us—most of them employed by my dad.  Since my family is West African, and rice is the main staple in West Africa, breakfast consisted of rice most times. Before cooking the rice however, there was a process called “pick rice.” (This process was usually reserved for the kids but since we slept in on weekends, we avoided this job).  The process included picking out and throwing away the dark grains in the rice.  The end result was white, clear grains of rice that was placed in boiling water to accompany the stew of the morning. 

When “picking rice” we would usually throw the dark grains to the floor.  The chickens loved this because it ended up being a feast for them.  Although it was clearly the chickens’ party, the birds didn’t want to miss the fun.  I would watch as the birds came down quietly to steal the chickens’ feast.  Then I would laugh hysterically as the chickens tried to chase the birds for a chicken beat down.  What made it hysterical was that since chickens can’t fly, the birds always ended up escaping. Once they escaped, the chickens would go on a cussing spree.  They would all walk around in circles making the loudest, fussiest noise I had ever heard.  We would laugh and point at the rooster as he marched up and down, clearly disgusted at the show-offy birds.

I still watch birds—this time from a distance.  I just like seeing them, gazing into their eyes from afar, being still so they feel comfortable with hanging out in my space.

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I love the sounds they make (if you’re American you may call it singing, if you’re African you refer to it as crying).  They’re a noisy bunch, with different sounds that emanate at different times: whether they’re making love or trying to, chasing food or each other, or just sitting and observing from a tree branch. 

I remember when a guy in college (a senior I had a crush on when I was a freshman) brought a love bird to the dorms. He thought he was bringing home a piece of art, but I knew better.  Love birds don’t shut up.  They can’t help it; they’re always reciting love poems.  And they’re pretty birds.  I would use the bird as an excuse to visit his dorm room. But her loving presence on campus was short-lived because just like love, she just wouldn’t be quiet.

These mornings, when I look out my window, there’s usually a bird watching me.  Sometimes I swear that I can see it mouth the words good morning

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Then I remember that I've just crawled out of bed, and I'm having my "wake-up" cup of tea.

 

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Great post...I love to watch birds...xox
A love bird, singing, crying, reciting poems, stealing rice and watching chickens curse. And befriending humans just a bit at a distance. Not a bad life. Thanks for making me think about this~and the line about love never being quiet.
Can't help but to love them right?

And yes indeed, love never is quiet is it? .... :-)
Nicely said. I'm the same way. I don't know what it is or how it happened really, but birds make me smile.
As someone who has lived with a sparrow for six years I have only admiration and delight for birds who are, in general, quite bright and sensible.
Their purpose is delightful, their voice insightful. By watching and paying attention we learn about weather, nature, and yes love too. Good post. I would love to hear more about the birds from where you grew up.
great stuff, sure hope that you share more of these stories of your childhood in Africa. As one who goes through five bars of suet and twenty pounds of birdseed per week, yes, you might call me a bird-lover too!!
Some bird-on-bird aggression, eh? I had a flock of chickens outside my house in Costa Rica, but those guys could fly - the chickens had to be pretty tough and agile to survive right on the edge of the rainforest! I loved watching them come rushing over, clucking all the way, whenever I'd put out the "compost" (read: chicken feed) every morning. Especially the chicks, whose local name perfectly described the adorable sounds they'd make: pio pio. I'd never heard that their sounds were called crying in Africa - very cool!
@Joseph They make me smile too :-)

@Jan S I would love to hear more about your sparrow. Wow, that's amazing.

@yapnot Thanks! More to come when a memory is sparked...
Thanks Grace! I'll post more stories from Africa from time to time. And yes you ARE a bird lover for sure. 20 pounds of bird seed a week? I bet you see some interesting ones...

@Nola I LOVE chicks. They're the prettiest!
I've loved birds since I was a kid. One of my best friends growing up was my parakeet! I continue to be fascinated by their songs (or cries, if you'd rather), their elusiveness and just watching them.
Ahhh parakeets....beautiful creatures with lots to say. I agree, their elusiveness adds to my fascination.

I also prefer to think of it as singing or talking...although certain sections of Africans refer to it as cries. In certain villages, the elders were warned by birds if dangerous animals or strangers were around, I think maybe that's where the "crying" reference comes from....I definitely plan to ask around and find out more about that one.
The birds in my yard are saying "HEY! Get out here and fill the feeders!"
What a beautiful post ! I adore birds too, and try to attract them to my yard any way possible with seeds, crums, rice. . . I identified with your "picking rice" memory immediately because that was done in my childhood spent in Turkey. We did the same with red lentils to make sure there weren't any small stones.
Oh, I can just see chickens on a cussing spree! I like the notion of birds singing and crying--the expanding the range of emotion. I like to watch squirrels, myself, though I love to watcfh birds fly, and always find it, I don't know, kind of and honor when birds build nests at a flat place at the top of our front porch pillars. I wonder what birds and squirrels think of us, or even if they consider us worthy of thinking about at all.
Robin, better hurry and feed them then :-)

Fusun, glad to find somebody who can identify. I bet that wasn't your favorite chore either :-)

Jerry, I wonder the same thing, especially when they sit there watching...I always wonder...
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I too think birds are bright. I also like to think that they have some knowledge or possess some bit of magic. Whatever it is I believe we can learn some things by watching them.
Yes, we can definitely learn some things by watching them.

Bonnie, I love it! It may just be the reason he became a pilot. Ha! You should ask him :-)
Cussing chickens! You write your memories well. I can see and hear those chickens cursing at the birds.
Cynthia Neale