Our Guests

We’ve got these four chicks staying with us these days. Is that what you call baby robins? Chicks? Sure. Anyway, the parents are staying at our place, too, although they usually hang out on the swing set or out in the yard. The chicks like things under the deck. I mean, they can’t leave the deck. The nest is there, and they like the nest. Not sure they’re big fans of flash photography, but what are you gonna do when you’re a chick?

They have no choice but to wait until they can fly . . . but you know what they do when they fly? They fly. Away. And when that day comes, I’ll still be here. Where I am. Airborne as a rock.

I don’t want to complain. I’m not eating worms. I don’t have to sleep under the deck (it’s really kind of shoddy). I’m warm-blooded. There are a billion other things I like about being me. But I’m sorely afraid of heights. I would like not to be. And these birds hold the secret.

Yeah, yeah, I know, you figured it out. They’re not afraid of heights because they can fly. But what you may not know is the reason I’m afraid of heights.

When I am somewhere high . . . say, seven stories up, looking out a window at the street below. I’m not afraid of what would happen when I hit the ground. I’m not even afraid of falling. One of my goals is to go skydiving. I think it would be a blast. It’s not the falling. It’s not the landing. It’s the helplessness. I’m afraid of heights because they make me painfully aware that once I fall, I can’t do anything to change what happens next. If I had a parachute, I could pull the cord to release it. If I had wings, I could flap them.

But as I am . . . there’s nothing I can do, if I fall.

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