what is it about robins singing in early morning that is like a shot of adrenaline right into your jugular? or like holding caffeine pills directly under your tongue?
robins singing at dawn always takes me back to the university of michigan biological station circa 2005 when i would have to get up early, and sneak out of my tin cabin to meet up with the rest of the class by the university vans so that we could beat the birds to whatever site our professor was taking us to that day. nothing can match the cold dampness of the woods in the morning and the smells here in dearborn are a bit different than those of northern michigan, i can tell you that much. i would pull on my boots in the dark, tripping as i did so, and watch the edge of the horizon just start to lighten and color. then, it was a group of us all standing around, half-asleep, waiting for everyone to show up, and when they did, a bit of tension over who was going to drive the rest of the dozing students to the site. the only one wide awake and bright-eyed was our professor (i think he may have had a secret key to get into the dining hall in order to brew his own private batch of coffee each bird class morning). those were the days, in a way.
yet, in a way, these are the days. i always surprise myself when i sit down in the morning to type and think to myself, “do i really have anything to write about?” the answer, as i soon discover as i begin to type, is always, “yes, i do.” sometimes disjointed, discombobulated, frantic, sometimes i mosey all around the point never actually getting to it. but that’s ok. you don’t mind, do you?
i can only blame waiting for a baby for this buzzing, agitated feeling i feel that hoisted me from the bed so early. that and the robins. i find myself casting back, reliving memories in a most vivid fashion, with a longing to go back there and do it all again. the bio station, field jobs, and mine and greg’s early-on relationship. is there anything better than new, young love? god, but it’s so fleeting, isn’t it?
and i find myself restless in my home, everything getting on my nerves more than usual. i am uncertain what to do with myself. nothing feels right. hormones. anticipation. anxiety. and just pure fear. this is where babies come from. the human body and the human mind. when i will think back to this time after our son is grown, what will i remember? the physical sensations of being pregnant? his rolling body inside of mine? or the time of year? how, he was born when all of the flowering trees were in bloom and there was a veritable elixir of sweetness in the air? when there was so much rain followed by so many warm, sunny days, the ground and trees exploded with green? how, in waiting for his birth, i awoke every morning to the robins’ piercing songs and thought of a different time? will i remember reliving, in my mind, the early years with his dad, our early history together that somehow led to this? new people. will i think of bird class? of university vans and breakfasts cooked over a fire in the woods?
but no matter how exciting those earlier times were with greg, being a student, is there any time in my life that will match this time? being a young parent with young children? bringing these new people into the world? it’s odd, then, that, while i’m sitting here thinking about the past and thinking, “those were the days”, i’m living out the real pinnacle of my life.
life is strange like that. it’s a very tangled web, isn’t it? everything gets interwoven together. my memories of the bio station, dirty clothes and young people, the present, singing robins and round bellies, and the start of my son’s life that, somehow began over a decade ago when i met a young greg and spent a muggy summer walking through the woods with him, parting ways after our mutual job ended, but somehow, coming back to him, always going away, but always coming back. odd.