Well the birds showed up finally. Maybe they’re done laughing at the bird feeder I hung too low – anyway it was lying sideways on top of the thigh-deep snow by the first week in January. They wouldn’t go near it all winter, brimming with seeds as it was, but now here they are suddenly.And they’re not spring birds just unpacking their bags either but the same old chickadees who are supposed to  stick around and suffer with us all winter.

I guess they must be really hungry by now. I get that. I’m hungry myself at this season but then I’m always hungry and never more than when that basket of bread gets plunked down in front of me in a restaurant. Back in the day, David and I would stand for 40 minutes to get into the Hilltop Steak House on the rare occasion we could scare up the twenty bucks and he’d just be shaking his head the whole time at the way I ate all the rolls the second they arrived and then just picked at the entree.

Maybe it’s the fear of scarcity that makes people gobble; that’s surely what it is for the animals. Most of the time I feel like I could even eat paper, like the Tom Hanks character does in his movie Cast Away. (It was a good look for him, though, you have to admit, once he skinnied down and got that sun-bleached hair. You’d have NO trouble getting young women in this culture to hand over cash money to  look just like he did after four years living Lord-of-the-Flies style.)

But hungry isn’t funny, I know. Hungry is what too many people in the world are every morning and every night.

Today is Ash Wednesday for Christians, a time for fasting and repentance. I wonder if people still give up things during Lent and if so what do they give up. The deer I see on the weekends are eating tree bark they’ve grown so hungry. Won’t we be glad when sprouts of green and seeds from living plants come back and  for a while at least all scarcity is banished.

I’ll take pictures of our tree bark. It sobers you to see.