*tap tap* The sharp sound of an object hitting glass. I look up from my weekly accounting at the office.
A robin is sitting on the small metal ledge above the door, peering in through the glass at me. Generally the ledge is too narrow for birds to sit on and I’m surprised to see it there. It tap taps on the glass again with its beak. Then it tilts its head back and forth, as if trying to get a better look at me. “Hello” I say. I watch it for a moment until it flies away. The next two days when I’m in the office the same behavior happens. A robin lands on the ledge, taps on the glass, and then flies away after a moment.
Since it’s made repeat performances the last three days, I’m meditating on the meaning of robins. You can find many different lists, in books and online, of the symbolism of all manner of objects but I’m a big believer in personalized symbolism. As in, what do you personally associate with that object? For example, dream symbolism books usually equate black cats with evil or bad luck. But personally, as a cat lover and previous owner of a black cat, the meaning of a black cat to me would maybe be comfort or relaxation instead of bad luck. Which, is the long way of saying that I didn’t check a book or website to see what someone else say robins mean but instead spent time considering my own associations with robins.
To me, robins are the embodiment of Spring. As soon as the weather starts to warm, you’ll see them speckled across greening lawns throughout the US, hopping from spot to spot, foraging for worms and insects. I’m guessing the window tapping and sitting on my door ledge is some sort of nesting behavior, checking out different areas, searching for the best spot to place a nest. Last year there were 2 robin nests that I could see in the trees outside. One nestled on a branch in the pine tree and one in the hawthorn. Maybe the bird I saw is a mother or father from last year or maybe they were one of last year’s babies, here to make their first nest.What does it mean when the robin-shaped spirit of Spring comes tapping on your window? It seems that maybe Spring is asking: “Are you going to come outside and join me in the dance of Spring? Will you come appreciate the season with me- the warming weather and the emergence of new plants?” and “What are you doing to grow new things in your life?”
I ponder these thoughts and it reminds me to spend more time outdoors. I go outside today during a rare period of sunniness in a week filled with gray skies and rain. I check all my perennial plants and am excited about each one that I see coming back to life. I see that the daffodils in the back yard are just about to bloom while the tulips in the front yard are still only 3 inches high. I see that the pretty red bee balm has had lots of babies so I’ll have plenty to replant.
Spring’s biological imperative to growth also reminds me of the growth I’m trying to support in my own life. It reminds me of a New Year’s resolution to write more. Creating this blog and blogging for the first time is my attempt to grow as a writer and to grow and deepen my spiritual practice.
So, I put these questions of Spring to you as well. Will you go out into nature to appreciate the season? Will you heed the call of Spring to growth and change?