On the morning of the first day of March, greedy jays are at the feeder,
first to find the crumbs from the master’s table.
Persistent little beggars, these blue crested squawkers. Alarm bells of the forest, cocky in their chinstraps,
flashing into everyone’s business. Subtlety is not their colour.
They are almost too gaudy for my liking.
As if reading my thoughts, one starts to scold me through the window.
I can’t help it, I shrug back. I didn’t grow up with blue jays in my neck of the northern woods.
They were more like a cartoon character in my mind.
When I go downstairs, the kitchen is hopping with my own little birds, eager for their breakfast.
Brew the coffee, slice the bread, pour the milk, wipe the sticky fingers. Squawk!
On the fridge door hangs a calendar, one of those freebies the insurance company sends in the mail,
with reminders to clean the chimney and change the smoke alarm batteries.
I’ve always loved the swoosh of flipping up the new month’s page.
And what symbol of our fair isle should greet me this particular March?
Three guesses, and the first two don’t count.
There he sits, perched on an ice covered branch, shiny eye turned into the kitchen,
daring me to ignore him.
Persistent little beggars.
I’ve learned to pay attention to the things that reappear in my field of vision. So I stare back.
And I’m reminded of others who were praised for their persistence, and even audacity.
A Canaanite woman, out of her league, begging for a daughter in the grip of darkness.
A man whose cupboards are bare, banging down his neighbour’s door at midnight.
A chronically ill woman, mustering just enough faith to reach for Jesus’ dusty hem.
They get what they need because of their persistence. Bold in their hunger.
Like blue on white, they show up and won’t shut up till they get what they’ve come for.
Sometimes life is a matter of timing.
There’s a time to hibernate, and a time to make your presence known.
A time to wait, and a time to reach. A time to ask, seek, knock, defiant of winter’s scarcity.
I sit down with my toast at the dining room table, looking out to where the feeder hangs.
All is grey and brown, save for dashes of jaunty blue. I’ll keep my eye on them.
Maybe I’ll learn to love these flashy creatures after all.