August 13, 2020
Melissa has begun to work from home two days a week. This saves the 175 miles a day on her car and the nearly three hours she sits behind the wheel. Since I have commandeered her office for my musings, she has taken a place in front of the bay window in our breakfast nook. Just as I did, she has become fascinated by the coming and going of the birds in our backyard. She had mentioned how her mom always had the hummingbird feeder in a different spot than where I had it. This week I switched the location of the hummingbird and finch feeders to see if it would attract more birds. Sure enough, she has seen three hummers this morning and it is not yet nine o’clock.
A saying regarding restate is a quote popularly attributed to the real estate tycoon Lord Harold Samuel, of England, “There are three things that matter in property: location, location, location.” William Safire was asked by a college on the New Your Times Magazine to see if this really came from Samuel. While he did use the phrase, it appears he was not the first to coin the phrase. A real estate classified ad in the Chicago Tribune in 1926 reads, “Attention salesmen, sales managers: location, location, location.” Although Safire did not find the origin, the phrase was in common use in 1926 Chicago when Lord Samuel was only 14 years old.
When I finally got up (even from home Melissa clocks in by 6:30 am), Melissa commented how birds seem to be creatures of habit. While some of the hummingbirds found the new location of the feeder, more recalled where the location had been in the past. Hummingbirds only live 3-5 years and Melissa’s mom died three years ago. Could this be a collective memory passed on by hummingbird mothers to their young? I do not know about birds, but this is the case with other animal species. Nature continues to amaze and confound me.
THOUGHTS: Even when the Cardinal feeder was empty, I would have birds sit on the fence and look forlornly into the empty dish. The windstorm we had several nights ago blew the feeder off the fence and I have not been able to find it. I put some of the Cardinal seed in the other feeder this morning, but I think I really need to get a feeder for the old location. People are animals and just like others we are creatures of habit. I have mentioned that studies have found that by 2-3 years of age children have absorbed the ethos of their culture (and not necessarily of their parents). Like the hummingbird mothers, we need to pass on the important information to our young. If anti-racism is not taught, it will never be learned. Change is coming and it starts with you.