You know that poem we all had to memorize back in grade school… at least, we did when I went to grade school back in the Paleolithic Period. It’s by Joyce Kilmer and it goes like this:

I think that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,

And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;

Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.

It may be the middle of winter here in Anchorage, yet every morning as the light starts coming up, I look into the tree behind my deck and think of this poem because my tree is filled with robins. Why they haven’t gone someplace warm and sensible for winter is beyond me. But they haven’t. And they come to my deck each morning for breakfast. If it’s the weekend and I’m getting up a little later than usual, they are very patient and wait for me to open the door and bring out the seeds they seem to thrive on. Sometimes they share the tree with Stellar jays and chickadees and red polls and nuthatches. Sometimes there are magpies perched in trees surrounding the deck but they usually don’t mingle with the crowd. As soon as I put food out, the magpies swoop in to get the choicest morsels. Once they’ve left, the other birds all seem very comfortable sharing the deck as they eat a communal breakfast.

If there is a better way to start your day than watching this snippet of life unfold each morning, I don’t know what it is.