Bonner Day: Bluebirds bring promise of positive outlook

Bonner Day

The bluebirds are back in the Shenandoah Valley. I saw my first one this spring just the other day, perched on the bird house that was waiting all winter.

As the song says, “Mr. Bluebird on my shoulder. It’s the truth, its actual, everything is satisfactual!”

If the bluebird did not make the winter of my discontent glorious, it lifted my heart so that I could at least see the promise of spring.

Banished for the moment was the threat of Islamic terrorists. Gone for a while was the thought pf politicians after my vote but really seeking their own glory. Banned from my immediate concern were the public servants who find it so hard to focus on their duties and so easy to focus on perks. Forgotten temporarily were the legions of tax men at the local, state and federal levels grasping every penny possible and lying at night dreaming of new ways to tax and penalize.

The bluebird’s soft and beautiful glide to a roost caused me to forget for a moment the unknown monster that destroyed three bird feeders in a single night. I have even forgiven the late blast of winter that canceled a local golf tournament. I’m having a harder time trying to forget that it killed the gardenia buds I anticipated this spring.

I am uplifted that the bluebird has come back to my backyard, bringing his positive look on life. He is confident, in ignorance of nature’s cruel ways, that the yard will provide a safe nest and a home for the new brood. The couple have surveyed the area and found the food supplies adequate and the danger minimal. And I, with my home and pension, can share that optimism.

Like the local growers, I can hope the cattle prices will recover by this fall. And the hay fields and corn fields will provide an acceptable yield. And the nation’s economy and the local and state economies as well, will improve so that we can all share in the increase.

I can hope that the next crop of politicians, local, state and federal, also will improve, and that they will be a step above the current crop to the betterment of the county and country. And if the hopes sound like a prayer it is only because I believe we will get better and our lives and our politicians will get better only through the intervention of providence. There is too much stacked up against the voter otherwise.

Mr. Bluebird, with his fabled aura of happiness, leads me to believe better times are ahead: with our jobs, with our families, with our nation and with our lives. Else why would the bluebirds return to the valley? I am so convinced that I’m going out to buy a new bird feeder, a new holder for seed cake, and a new seed sock for finches.

And in an attempt to foil the night monster that destroyed the bird feeding apparatuses, I will delay a few days before putting them back up. As for the other monsters of our lives, the politicians, I will continue to watch them closely and vote carefully when the elections come. I have no magic powers. I only hope that by reading and watching the news carefully, I and my fellow voters can improve on our selections. For a start, any office holder who confessed he didn’t read a law before passing it should be automatically scotched. We should all participate, trying to choose the better candidate, but realizing that they, like all mankind, are human and can err. Rather than forgive, however, we must vote them out when their errors hurt the commonwealth.

Let us mimic the bluebird, who surveys an area, and if it is too disagreeable, flees to a happier place to nest. And if our choices at the polling booth are too disagreeable, let us move on down the ballot to a happier place. And let us share the optimism of the bluebirds who returned to Shenandoah County and hope that better times and better politicians are ahead.

For my part, to assume the optimism of the bluebird who returned to my yard, I have decided not only to put the feeders up again, but also to put up a hummingbird feeder.


Bonner Day is a journalist who who has roamed the world but chosen to retire in Shenandoah County. He and his wife live on a modest acreage in Maurertown, small enough to see each other regularly but big enough to avoid bumping over each other.