The wind had strengthened during the night, and by mid-morning it had blown the mist away; at times there were even some patches of blue sky visible. It was not yet spring, but on the other hand it no longer felt like winter. Like the other birds, Algy was highly sensitive to the rapidly lengthening days and change of light. He felt a restlessness in the air, and he hurried down to the soothing sea. The wind was bitter, as usual, but it was always possible to find some shelter among the dunes, so he tucked his beak into his book of Poems of the Sea, and this is what he read:

          The people along the sand
          All turn and look one way.
          They turn their back on the land.
          They look at the sea all day.

          As long as it takes to pass
          A ship keeps raising its hull;
          The wetter ground like glass
          Reflects a standing gull.

          The land may vary more;
          But wherever the truth may be –
          The water comes ashore,
          And the people look at the sea.

          They cannot look out far.
          They cannot look in deep.
          But when was that ever a bar
          To any watch they keep?

[ Algy is reading the poem Neither Out Far Nor In Deep by the 20th century American poet Robert Frost. ]

The weather was so unpleasant, and the wind so strong, that Algy decided it would be wise to take shelter in the great forest. Even there, the storms had taken their annual winter toll, and many trees had fallen. But a fallen tree can provide a welcome home for many wee creatures, and an excellent perch for a fluffy bird, so Algy soon found a comfortable place to rest and recover from the battering of the snow-laden gales. As he looked at the trees all around him, Algy thought of the famous poem by Robert Frost:

          Whose woods these are I think I know.
          His house is in the village though;
          He will not see me stopping here
          To watch his woods fill up with snow.

          My little horse must think it queer
          To stop without a farmhouse near
          Between the woods and frozen lake
          The darkest evening of the year.

          He gives his harness bells a shake
          To ask if there is some mistake.
          The only other sound’s the sweep
          Of easy wind and downy flake.

          The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
          But I have promises to keep,
          And miles to go before I sleep,
          And miles to go before I sleep.

[ Algy is quoting the poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by the 20th century American poet Robert Frost. ]

It was very pleasant in the woods, and sheltered from the cold north wind, so Algy decided to stay there for a wee while. The twisting brances of the old oak trees made excellent perches, and Algy tried out several for size, but found that they were all very comfortable, and well adapted to the needs of a fluffy bird.

As he perched there under the emerging canopy, swinging his legs and looking around at all the fresh green and gold leaves, he remembered a famous poem by Robert Frost. Notwithstanding the symbolic intent of the verse, Algy was greatly comforted by the thought that in the woodlands, at least, the “gold” would in fact return again with each new spring :))

          Nature’s first green is gold,
          Her hardest hue to hold.
          Her early leaf’s a flower;
          But only so an hour.
          Then leaf subsides to leaf.
          So Eden sank to grief,
          So dawn goes down to day.
          Nothing gold can stay.

[Algy is quoting the poem Nothing Gold Can Stay by the 20th century American poet Robert Frost.]

The world was exceedingly wet. In many places there was water where usually there was something else. Although it meant getting his tail feathers uncomfortably damp, Algy could not resist perching in a clump of reeds at the edge of an impromptu lochan, so that he could study the lovely reflections of the sky in a place where normally there would only be soggy grass. He knew that soon the water – and the reflections – would be gone again.

As he sat there looking at the sky on the ground, Algy thought of his friends in northern America who had been shut indoors for weeks on end during an exceptionally cold winter, but were now on the verge of a spring thaw. He hopes that very soon Robert Frost’s well-known poem will be fulflled for you, and you will be able to get out and about in a world transformed by the coming of spring:

          Come with rain, O loud Southwester!
          Bring the singer, bring the nester;
          Give the buried flower a dream;
          Make the settled snowbank steam;
          Find the brown beneath the white;
          But whate’er you do tonight,
          Bathe my window, make it flow,
          Melt it as the ice will go;
          Melt the glass and leave the sticks
          Like a hermit’s crucifix;
          Burst into my narrow stall;
          Swing the picture on the wall;
          Run the rattling pages o’er;
          Scatter poems on the floor;
          Turn the poet out of door.

[Algy is quoting the poem To the Thawing Wind by Robert Frost.]

Algy Appreciates a Hushed October Morning

image

The wind changed, and the rain cleared to bring a beautiful, calm October day. Algy flew into a cherry tree, and spent a peaceful morning watching the breeze ripple through the autumn leaves in gentle rhythms of colour and light.

         O hushed October morning mild,
         Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
         Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
         Should waste them all.
         The crows above the forest call;
         Tomorrow they may form and go.
         O hushed October morning mild,
         Begin the hours of this day slow.
         Make the day seem to us less brief.

[From the poem October by Robert Frost.]