Sunday, April 10, 2011

On an early spring day...

I sit at the table on the front porch of my friend's home. This is truly the first spring like weather we have had for a while. For a little while my attention has been alternating between my knitting needles and tea and the small crab apple tree across the street. The tree is still heavy with last year's fruit, now shriveled.

Perched in the tree are cedar waxwings, newly arrived. They sit on the branches; arranged like new leaves of spring, and sing and eat fruit. These little birds congregate to rest from a long trip north.

My attention is back to my work in hand, knit, purl, purl.....thinking , not thinking, smelling the fresh air through the open window, watching a squirrel hang upside down on the lilac bush to raid my friend's bird feeder.


I look up to see the small flock has taken flight in a startle. One member of their congregation not seeing the wall of the house next door. It lays on the neighbors lawn struggling.

I run across the street to check. It is still breathing. Its wings seem fine. It does not struggle as I try to handle it gently to see if perhaps it is just stunned and needs someone to watch over it until it regains its senses. I run back to the house to look up the phone number to the local Audobon Society, when I look up and notice that it has stopped moving.

Retuning to the bird I find it dead. I pick it up in gloved hands but I can still feel its warmth in my hand, its small body so light.

While this has all gone on the wind has changed direction, clouds have filled in the blue spaces.


Deus Ex Machina said...

This is a beautiful tribute. Death is so natural a part of everything and yet it can be so surprising.

LindaM said...

Thats pretty sad. We had a baby blue jay fall out of a tree when the kids were young. Unfortunately, they saw it and wanted to rescue it. We tried to do that but by the next day, we had to take it to a nature rescue place. There, we got scolded for not allowing nature to take its course. We were told that we should of left it and allow it to die. At the time, I didn't want my kids to see that happen because they got very emotionally attached to the idea of rescuing the bird. I feel bad because we basically just prolonged its suffering. We were city slickers to the core back then but have learned alot since.

lynda said...

I made 2 of your baby hats. The directions were easy to follow! Thanks.

cargillwitch said...

I tried so hard as a child to raise the starlings that inevitably fell out of nests on my parents farm. Without exception they died.Birds are such valiant survivors here given our frigid winters yet ironically fragile as well.