Happiness Writes White

The bird on the fire escape has been with me for over a week. She's chosen some of my scraggly philodendron vines as the basis of her nest, and is guarding her eggs (the second egg appeared on Orthodox Easter Sunday).

Sometimes I give her some privacy by lowering the blinds -- I suppose my proximity to her nest gives could give her some anxiety (she's three feet away as I write this). But I like to think she's getting used to me, and my offerings of Wheat Thins.

On both Monday and Tuesday afternoons this week, around 5:30 or so, I was present to observe a similarly-marked brown bird land on the fire escape. They both gazed warily at me for a few moments -- then the nesting bird promptly stood up and took flight. Here to stay as the replacement, the new bird hopped into position over the eggs, in the nest. I can't really tell which bird is the father, or even if such gender roles apply to birds in Manhattan, but I very much enjoy this family growing outside my window...

The routine of floor medicine continues, with its steady supply of triumph and tragedy, teaching and tedium. It's springtime for the interns, who have more or less gotten the hang of it, and made peace with their roles and abilities. In a few hours I'll go to work, then from the hospital I'm off to my best friend's wedding. I'll be back at the hospital in time for call on Sunday, to return to this roost Monday morning and file a column.

These are that days, and the stage in life, that my friend and I have wondered about for about fifteen years. We couldn't have predicted all the specifics; no one could have. But this work, this place, these people in my life -- it's everything I had hoped.