T'is a strange thing to hear the sound of a seagull while walking the streets of New York in 20-degree weather. If I close my eyes but for a brief moment, I can pretend I am in someplace warm--on the beach, perhaps, and I am lazing sleepily in the sun. There is sand in my toes and the smell of salt in my nose.
I open my eyes and slip on the ice. My coat is long and black and my scarf is wrapped around my face. I feel bad for the birds. What are they doing here? Aren't they freezing? How warm can mere feathers be? They seem happy, or maybe just desperate, playing/fighting with each other for food. I wish I had a crumb or two to toss their way. I feel guilty for our weather being so cold and they are enduring it for some reason. Did they miss the migration with their friends and are too scared to leave on their own? Is it too cold to fly?
I sympathize with them and I am jealous of them, for cold weather is not one of my friends. How I would love to just up and leave to a warmer place-- to shed my unnecessary coat, never to be worn again.
But I cannot. And so I say, I am sorry seagulls, that you are here in unpleasant temperatures. But since I can't migrate by my own means to the warm beach where I would love to be, thank you for bringing it to me.