On his darkest day

One of our Robins in the favored nesting spot by our deck, April 2008

One of our Robins in the favored nesting spot by our deck, April 2008

You have to believe in happiness,
Or happiness never comes …
Ah, that’s the reason a bird can sing –
On his darkest day he believes in Spring. —  Douglas Malloch

I’ve done a lot of walking through snow and ice the past few days, and already there’s a part of me that is eager for spring — even though Christmas has not even come yet!

Soon it will be the winter solstice, the year’s darkest day.  I’ve always thought the calendar was neatly arranged to sneak that psychological low point in there at the most festive time of the year; by the time the holidays have passed, we can console ourselves with the knowledge that there will be a bit more sun shining each day.

If you are already harboring thoughts of springtime, today’s post is for you. Believe in happiness!  Very often, it may mean re-defining your understanding of the word, but you may come closer to the truth that way anyway.

One year ago today

Always springtime

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. Good morning, Julia! I love that: redefining happiness may bring us closer to the truth, anyway.
    Having Christmas after the winter solstice is SUCH a good idea, I thought it was probably planned, too. Planned by people who live north of the equator. I’m glad that the land masses are larger north of the equator; it helps maximize the impact for the most people.
    I like to drag Christmas out the full “twelve days,” as did my parents, who held Epiphany parties every year when I was a kid. I remember a lot of stale Christmas cookies, as each guest would bring theirs along, to contribute to the pot luck.

    • I never thought about the population mass factor, but I bet you are right. I think that Christmas is definitely meant to be a season, and if you had Epiphany parties as a kid, you were lucky indeed. I used to feel so let down by Christmas afternoon, knowing that what seemed then to be an endless year stretched out before the next one.

  2. mike c. B

    Outside our apartment- or townhouse- is a Wendy’s, in the same shopping center- Toonigh- as the Kroger store. One morning early i was walking to the store and heard a bird chirping that seemed to be coming right from the Wendy’s. As i walked by the drive through window and passing the large Wendy’s sign i noticed a few strands of grass hanging from the E in the sign. Looking closer i saw the nest – nestled somehow behind the E in the sign. Anyway, i am not sure how many birds are up there. That is a busy place and i am not sure when they had the time to build that nest in the midst of so much activity But they did.
    Have you ever seen a bird’snest in a Wendy’s ? I have.

    • No, but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been one. Jeff was always pointing out such things to me, things I would never have seen for myself. He, like many people, seemed to have almost a sort of radar for wildlife in any setting. One such thing he pointed out to me years ago is that there are birds that nestle into the top of the columns on our York front porch each night to sleep, year round. It warms my heart to see them every time I’m at the York home. I always voice a little high-pitched goodnight greeting to them, which nobody is around to hear but me, so who cares if it sounds crazy?

  3. mike c.

    Well i have a friend who tames Hummingbirds. They fly to his hand and set there for a little rest. I don’t know how he does it ,but he does. I try to mimic the Mockingbirds here, but they just ignore me.

    • That’s amazing! I’ve never heard of anything like that with a hummingbird. If you are trying to mimic the Mockingbirds, isn’t that secondhand mimicry? Since they themselves mimic other birds? (Hence the name.) I can just hear them saying “there goes that wannabe Mockingbird again. Let’s just ignore him and maybe he will give up…”

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