It’s a gray Sunday morning with a thin film of falling snow. I’m sitting in bed with my books and pillows and laptop, anchored to the warmth of my bed, meandering around in my thoughts. I dreamt a good dream and I can’t remember it, which irritates me. I’m also irritated by the puddles of chaos around me: the chewed-up paper chaos of the dogs; the unmade bed and my languishing in it; the Laundry Mountain, as we have come to call it, that is piled high in the reading nook. And I’m thinking about something I read a few weeks ago, something that I printed out and carried around in my coat pocket and which I’ve subsequently lost, something that said Wake up with expectations of all the wonderful things will happen that day. And I’m irritated because that seems a difficult task.
A wren flies into the room. A wren has flown into my room! Astonished, I jump up, as does my largest cat, Frost, who is also known as Micro Lion, who is fierce and at this moment faster than me. I grab him just as he is closing in on this miraculous appearance of prey, and I throw him out of the room. And Noodle Kitty. And Simon. And Willow. I have a lot of animals. Door shut, I admire the chestnut-feathered apparition that is now clinging to the branch of my almost dead avocado tree. I open the door to the outside, the cold hurrying in. But the wren does not fly out.
OK, wait. I tell myself. Zoë needs to see this. I shut the door to the outside and carefully squeeze myself through my bedroom door, where I find a crowd of animals waiting to come in and eat the little wren. I shut the door, dash down the steps, and rouse Zoë from her slumber, checking doors and windows to see if they are open. Because I can’t quite figure out how a wren got into my house.
“Wake up! Wake up! There’s a wren in my room! I don’t know how it got there, but there’s a wren in my room!” Well, I wish I had a wren in my room every morning because that is definitely the trick to getting my daughter up and moving without a fuss.
And so we gently herd the sweet bird from windowsill to avocado tree to windowsill, with the door to the outside wide open, all the while praising her beauty and good-naturedness. The poor thing can’t quite get her bearings, and instinctively decides that underneath my bed might be a good place to hide from the chaos of the morning. Then she flies into another window. Finally she figures out, and with a flurry of wings darts out into the cold snowy air. Zoë and I breathe a sigh of happy relief tinged with longing.
I am left with the second astonishment of the morning. Something wonderful and unexpected happened today! While I was struggling with how to make something wonderful happen, it came to me on its own, on miraculous chestnut-faethered wings. A darling wren was caught in my bedroom. A wren! The sweetest of birds, cheerful and brazen. She tried to hide under my bed and she flew into windows before she finally found the open door, and fluttered into the white air of her freedom. The medicine is not lost on me. I put on my boots and head out into the enchantment of snow, smiling.