being yourself?

Ralph Waldo Emerson said that being yourself in a world that’s constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.  It sounds like a hokey kind of quote that’s been overused to the point of meaningless…the sort of thing you might hear during a high school graduation speech.  But it holds a sharp and poignant truth that many refuse to confront.  Last night I sat on the deck and watched the clouds drift into each other. Swifts chittered as they hawked insects above me, intersecting each others’ flight paths in and out of my field of vision.  The air felt clean from rain and the sky showed off its blue behind clouds stained by the setting sun. It was true beauty, despite the power lines, the roof lines, all the straight and narrowness that makes me restless.  I try to be myself as much as I can, and doing that has mostly made me feel eccentric and alienated.  But I’m okay with that.

I have a couple of photos to share from my wandering, but my camera’s battery is dead at the moment.  Migration is slowing, almost halted…I only saw a few migrants last time I went out.  Now I plan to focus on finding and getting better looks at some of the local breeders, particularly some of the skulking warblers like Kentucky, Yellow-breasted Chat, and Worm-eating.  I’m pretty sure I glimpsed a Kentucky at Soldier’s Delight the other day, but he wasn’t singing and popped down out of view and refused to show himself again.  At SWAP, I heard a chat sing just a few notes before clamming up.  I’ll be back to seek him out again.  As much as I love migration, it’s very hectic and for someone still learning all the songs, it can be overwhelming.  I’ll appreciate some quieter time where I can hone my ear birding skills and hopefully still see a few new birds while I’m at it.

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