Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Happy is the Robin who Bathed!

photo by ana traina, central park 2011
This past weekend I went strolling in Central Park and happened upon this happy and delightful scene, a Robin bathing in a little waterfall by the pond on 100th street. 

I was mesmerized by its simple beauty and spent a joyous half hour just watching this stunning and playful creature.  After I rushed home to edit my photos I took the time to learn a bit of robin lore. Here are some of things I have gathered...

The robin redbreast is a bird of spring, a time of new growth and new beginnings. It flies into our lives on the winds of change asking us to weed our personal gardens and plant new seeds for our future. Rebirth and renewal require changes in all areas of life that have become stagnant and outdated. The robin redbreast teaches us to how to make these changes with joy in our hearts. Its song is a happy one reminding us to let go and learn to laugh with life.

In Medieval Europe the robin redbreast was often depicted attending the Christ child, an emblem of the Passion to come. It was told how, at that fateful hour, it was the tiny robin who flew to Jesus' Crown of Thorns, striving valiantly to pluck the spines away with his beak. Unfortunately the bird succeeded only in tearing his own breast on the thorns. Ever since then it was thought that all robins wore red feathers on their bosoms as a badge of honor.

Last Bit of Odds and Ends: Said to be extremely unlucky to kill a Robin. The hand that does so will continue to shake thereafter. Traditionally the Irish believe that a large lump will appear on the right hand if you kill one, and in Yorkshire if the person owns cows then the milk will become blood colored. It is a reputed fact that whatever you do to a robin you will suffer the same tragedy. Breaking the eggs will result in something valuable of your own being broken. Flying in through an open window or tapping on the window is a sign of death being present. To see a robin sheltering in the branches of a tree indicates that rain is on the way & to see one chirping on an open branch indicates that fine weather is imminent. Some believe that the robin will not be chased by a cat. You should make a wish when seeing the first robin of the season!

And remember, tis the season, so happy bird watching to all!