A Bluebird Changed Everything #sol20

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A Bluebird Changed Everything #sol20

March 5, 2020

My husband and I took a trip a few weeks ago during the February holiday.  We don’t usually travel during February school vacation because of the expense.  This year we decided to give ourselves a break.  My husband suggested one of our usual destination in sunny Florida, tried and true, they would have been warm and predictable.  I however, wanted to go somewhere new.  As per previous blogs,  we have been looking for a ‘coming-up-someday’ place to move and I am determined to try out a few more places.

For reasons that escape me right now, I suggested that we go to Savannah.  As soon as suggested it, my husband found a relatively reasonable priced package for airfare, car, and hotel.  Too good to be true?

Feeling nervous that I had recommended somewhere that might not be a good fit, I began half-heartedly researching for our trip, meaning I bought a book that I didn’t have time to read about Hilton Head and Savannah.  Many people told me about long weekends in Savannah. You’ll love it.  Make sure you take a graveyard tour.  My trepidation grew.  Why did I feel like this might not work out?

Perhaps I have intuition.  First our flight was schedule to leave Boston at 9:30 pm past my bedtime and arrive in Savannah at 12:30 am.  It was another hour drive to the hotel in Hilton Head from there.  No problem I said. Let’s see if we can get an earlier flight. The earlier flight was over $200 more each to change, however, the agent assured us that many people call at midnight that day.  If you call the day of the flight and there’s room, you can change flights on that day for $20.  So alarm set. Plan made.

Several days before I started checking the weather in Savannah and Hilton Head.  The forecast for our vacation week was looking rainier and rainier.  The temperature predictions were getting lower and lower.  I know how my husband was looking forward to a sunny beach vacation… Dread filled me.  My husband was optimistic.  Forecast change. We proceed.  No worries. Something to that effect.

The day of departure we awoke at midnight changed our flight, got back and left for the airport hours before we had originally planned.  Our seats were ok, we were in the air on time, everything was relatively smooth.  I started to consider that this might work out.

That day was rainy.

The next day was partially rainy and cool.  We took a coach tour of Savannah and by the time we finished we could have a long walk and lunch rain-free.

The next day was rainy.  We looked out of our window at the beach.

The next day was rainy.   We decided to go to a nature preserve in the drizzle…  an Audubon park.  At this point I am hoping for a miracle.  I feel like my choice has ruined my husband’s well deserved vacation.  I have apologized dozens of times.

We arrive at the ‘Park’.  There is a very small gravel parking lot, a small field of scrubby plants, a foreboding sky, a chilly wind, and a soggy path.  We look at each other… We nod slowly.  The two of us get out of the car and start down the path.  Not a bird or a patch of sunlight in sight.  We reach a board walk and see a sign that warns of possible alligators.  I begin to look carefully around as we circle a small pond.  Still no birds… and no visible alligators.  All the remaining paths further into this park are either underwater or muddy to the point that they will be underwater just out of view… Still no birds. Not one.

We look at each other and nod.  We begin the walk back to the car, hoods up, rain jackets fully zipped as it begins to drizzle. As we get to the car, my husband says What was that?! Was that a bluebird?  I think Oh, great. Ruining our trip. Come to this stupid park… and then I miss my only opportunity of a lifetime to see an actual bluebird. Bob says Look there!  In the direction he points, perched on the edge of a birdbath, I catch a fleeting glimpse of a bluebird right before it takes flight.

I start to cry.  I‘ve missed it.  I haven’t even gotten a good look.  Oh, please! 

And then…  I hear birdsong.  I look up and there next to me, right in front of me, on the tiny slip of a space between the car door and the window, the bluebird has lit.  He looks at me.  I look at him, heart expanding.  He flits away to a nearby tall tree, but then… he returns, sitting on the mirror, on the hood, giving us a wonderful, lingering, spectacular view of all his shiny blue glory.  Just a moment.  No photo.

That moment changed everything.


For the month of March , I will be participating in the Slice of Life Challenge (#sol20) sponsored by Two Writing Teachers. I will be slicing each day for 31 days inspired by my work as a literacy specialist and coach, my life, and my fellow bloggers.  This is day 5.





13 thoughts on “A Bluebird Changed Everything #sol20

  1. I love the way you built up this slice. It was going downhill with the rain and all the other bumps in the road, but at the end, a miracle. So glad it was the highlight of the trip!

  2. I was so with you in the despair and disappointment of a rainy vacation when all you need is sun…only to be saved by a blip of a bird for just a moment. Sometimes that’s all you need.

  3. You certainly set the mood in this piece! I think you should come for a visit. My backyard is a great spot for bird watching. We have a few bluebird friends you could come watch… on a sunny day!

  4. I have had that vacation! And I have also learned not to take blame or credit for the weather!) Your writing/word selection is so vivid I felt I was was walking that muddy path right beside you. I hope you will give Savannah another try . . .

  5. So glad you had your bluebird moment. Who was it that said there is no light without shadow, no joy without sadness? No doubt, the moment shone more clearly against the contrast.

  6. Love the craft of this slice … wanting things to improve, getting a glimpse of hope, losing it, getting it and then savoring it. Thank you for sharing — seems like a good sign for a someday place.

  7. The ability to capture the brevity with such emotion can be found in these lines: “He looks at me.  I look at him, heart expanding.  He flits away to a nearby tall tree, but then… he returns, sitting on the mirror, on the hood, giving us a wonderful, lingering, spectacular view of all his shiny blue glory.  Just a moment.  No photo.”
    You lived which is worth more than the photo. What a lovely piece of writing!

  8. The ending is so hopeful. I love the way you led up to it. It might even be interesting to do another piece starting with noticing the bluebird and then detailing how needed this moment was for you.

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