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A new friend! I knew conceptually that robins sit on eggs in nests in flowery spring trees, but I didn’t expect to have that knowledge embodied right here, so close to some of the worst walking in Minneapolis.

Earlier this month I watched the latest remake of Anne of Green Gables (“Anne with an E”). I really enjoyed it, but I’d also never quite realized how formative those books were for me in some of how I choose to view the world (and in how verbose I am). Beauty-finding is a lens I choose for how I see and interact with the world, and I’m thankful for developing that skill.

This beauty was unexpected, but choosing to be present to it, to allow myself to be drawn to it despite the 45mph traffic ten feet away, has wedged that streetscape open for me—now I have the Story of My Bucolic Robin Friend in a Well-Appointed Nest, which is a far more pleasant tale than the one our current infrastructure tells.

And that’s what sometimes keeps me going, even when there is so much hostility towards those who walk in Minneapolis. It’s my stories, my tiny narratives with story arcs as mundane and compelling as L.M. Montgomery’s ever were. Here, a bird. There, a person who liked my parasol and gave advice on which needle to use to mend it while we both waited at an interminable light. A sewer cover. The breath of lilacs once a year. A swoop of graffiti. A favorite discarded brick.

Monuments and massive infrastructure changes are all well and good, but we need the tiny nudges forward, particularly when our landscapes are so brutal and inhumane.
Thank you, Robin Red-Breast, for a beauty that silences the traffic around us.

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