Storm Robin

 It’s raining like crazy over a woodland lake the way it does sometimes on an August day that starts sunny.

The sky darkens. Low clouds roll over and unload. The lake’s surface makes you think of machine-gun fire.

Thunderclaps encourage that idea, and lightning. Wind shakes trees. Leaves and branches fly off and spin around.

Somebody’s lawn chair blows into the lake.

Water comes down with sound and fury as Shakespeare said somewhere.

But unlike his sound and fury, this isn’t a tale told by an idiot signifying nothing.

It’s a tale told by a warm front in disagreement with a cold front signifying nothing. Except the uncertainty of August sunshine.

Now a bird flies across the lake through the rain. It’s an American Robin but this bird’s name is not important.

What’s important is its improbable, implacable route. Flying straight through all that wind and rain, in spite of it all.

You wonder: where’s it going? What’s so important there? How can it maintain altitude when the weight of so much water is pushing down on its back? What’s it thinking?

You’ll never know. And it doesn’t really matter. All that matters is that you feel an unexpected moment of admiration for a bird flying unfazed through a storm. This makes your day.

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