‘Are they here yet? I don’t think they’re coming? When, whennnnnnn aaaaarrrre the birds commmmmming?’
I was at Currumbin bird sanctuary, there to hold a plate for the 4pm bird feeding.
I thought it might be a fun thing to do on a rainy Gold Coast day and we were at the junction of the Gold Coast highway at just the right time. I turned into the sanctuary, got a park out the front and strolled right up to the ring.
I got myself a plate and waited for the honey mixture to be delivered at 4pm. My husband was sitting up the top, not keen to feed the birds. Although, within minutes of their arrival, he appeared by my side, took a bowl and was instantly inundated. I, on the other hand, only got his offcuts as a few reluctant birds flew from his bowl to mine, or he hand delivered them.
But I digress. Earlier, the mother of the boy beside me was patiently telling her son that the birds would arrive at 4pm and that he had four minutes to wait. Clearly, four minutes was something like four hours in his world and one impatient little fellow was stomping and demanding, keen for his mother to intercede in the bird world. He wanted those birds to ‘commmmme now’.
I wanted to add my own little bit to the conversation, because nature isn’t always exact. I mean, how do the birds know that 4pm has ticked over? Perhaps this was the day when the birds might arrive at 4.04pm and our little impatient, stomping boy might have to wait eight minutes for them to arrive.
Imagine that. Imagine waiting eight minutes for anything. Or imagine waiting for four minutes. Clearly the idea of waiting for anything at all was outside of his capacity.
And in a world of instant gratification, in a world, where you click a few keys and the information is immediately there, four minutes is indeed a long time.
Feeding the birds brought back a load of childhood memories. I remember standing at that same ring, bowl in hand, birds perched on my head and scratching my arms. I remember looking behind me at the mirrors that distorted your image.
And I would wait for ever to bring those simple, unhurried days back again. Four minutes is nothing at all.