Last week, while digging my car out of the latest manifestation of global warming, I followed my usual routine of taking breaks whether I felt that I needed them or not. After a heavy snowfall it’s heart attack city out there so I don’t push it even if I think I can push it.

Looking out my back door, I could see birds circumnavigating the rim of my empty feeder like sixteenth century mariners searching for Cathay but only finding barren beaches.

“Sorry guys”, I said to myself (or maybe not just to myself), “the paths out back are filled in and the car has priority.”

At this point, a phrase popped into my head: “bread and roses”. Or is it “bread or roses”? The car is certainly the bread. I needed to get to Foodland to buy some. The birds, however, with their thorny toes and petal spread of feathers were passable stand-ins for roses.

And so, before continuing with the driveway dig, I battled my way to the feeder, filling it as well as clearing loose snow off the hard pack and spreading seeds for the groundlings.

Returning with my groceries, I was greeted by a riot of jostling, boisterous beaks.

Bread AND Roses. Definitely bread and roses.