Whenever May appears in all its filigreed beauty—tree branches lined with tender leaves, landscapes dotted with blooming flowers—I imagine myself dancing around, extolling the pleasures of the lusty month of May like Vanessa Redgrave as Guinevere in “Camelot” (alas, without her great hair). The world has come alive again, anything is possible. And in all the hidden corners of the natural world, the birds and bees and critters are going about the business of propagating their species. To quote a line from “Bambi,” everyone is “twitter-pated.” (Now, of course, the word “twitter” evokes the social media platform. Comments there, however, are seldom of the Disney variety).
To me, one of the joys of this season is bird-watching. I’m not an obsessive lister, though I am proud of my modest list which includes a cedar waxwing and a Cape May warbler spotted outside their migratory range. It was as if they had gotten on the wrong subway and suddenly found themselves in a neighborhood they didn’t even know existed. I do hope they found their way back to their proper range.
My own sense of direction is like that of the professor character in “Indiana
Jones and the Last Crusade:” I’d get lost in my own museum. And while Tolkien declared, “All who wander are not lost,” I beg to differ. I’ve wandered through Central Park countless times, only to discover I’d merely gone in a circle and wound up back where I began (“Wait a minute. Isn’t this supposed to be the East Side?”) And don’t get me started on any neighborhood below 21st Street in Manhattan.
I’ve lost my way in strange cities, map in hand, taken too many wrong exits off too many highways, and once—I had just moved so I had an excuse—got lost in my own neighborhood.
Some people have an internal GPS. I am not one of them. I’m not sure if I had a GPS app I’d even know how to use it (those dominatrix voices telling me to TURN LEFT. TURN LEFT, YOU IDIOT can go scratch).
What I do possess, though, is a moral compass. And it never fails me. It gets me where I need to go in life.