Thursday, October 28, 2004


Parable of the Birds

John Burroughs (1837-1921), The Art of Seeing Things:
I once spent a summer day at the mountain home of a well-known literary woman and editor. She lamented the absence of birds about her house. I named a half-dozen or more I had heard or seen in her trees within an hour -- the indigo-bird, the purple finch, the yellowbird, the veery thrush, the red-eyed vireo, the song sparrow.

"Do you mean to say you have seen or heard all these birds while sitting here on my porch?" she inquired.

"I really have," I said.

"I do not see them or hear them," she replied, "and yet I want to very much."

"No," I said, "you only want to want to see and hear them."

You must have the bird in your heart before you can find it in the bush.

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