Discover more from Philip Palios
I see more birds than people up here
The joy of modest heights
Life’s good living up here with the birds. Not atop a skyscraper, just a few flights of stairs from sea level. When I first arrived, a Herring Gull flew to my window in greeting, seeing if I had anything to eat. I was annoyed at first, but then surprised when the same gull returned later that evening to say hello. And four days later, he’s become a daily visitor. Looking out my window as the day passes by, there are always birds flying here and there. I haven’t seen any people flying around, just birds. In fact, I don’t see people at all while I’m up here, unless they appear on my screen for a video call.
You see, my window has a massive sill, a seat really. So in the mornings I open the window, crawl atop the sill, sip my cup of coffee and work on the day’s Wordle. Within minutes, Harold flies up and makes three loud caws, head pointed up toward the Gods. If I don’t respond, he emits some quieter chirps, just loud enough for me and no one else to hear - incase I thought he was talking to someone else. I haven’t shared any food with him yet, not because I don’t want him to come back, but because I don’t think my food is well-suited to birds. I might have to go buy some fresh fish from the market to share.
I never associated identity with birds before. I assumed every bird I saw was a stranger; now I wonder how often in the various places I’ve lived I saw the same birds time and time again without acknowledging their identities. Not in the birder’s ability to ID the species sort of way (which I also can’t do) but to give them the dignity of individual names. It’s a slippery slope that could easily lead to vegetarianism and other sustainable behaviors I’m not sure I’m ready for.
We live together in this town. Sharing the sky, the earth, the sea. The birds probably have better French language comprehension than I do.
One of my goals this year was to stay in a treehouse and while this building looks nothing like a treehouse, I’ve decided it is indeed a treehouse. My desire to stay in a treehouse was a desire to live a few meters above the ground, to be able to look out the window and see the world from above. Little did I know when I booked this flat that I would be granted my wish. It’s wonderful just to look out over the rooftops from my desk, but when I climb up by the window and look out, that’s where I can’t help but be wrapped in awe.
Slightly closer to the birds and a little bit further away from the humans is a nice place to be; a much-needed new perspective I didn’t know I needed.