Sunday, September 09, 2007
Saturday morning, even though it was overcast, and rain seemed imminent, I decided to do something I have not done in weeks, I poured my second cup of coffee, and meandered my way down to the river, to enjoy the flow of the water, to look for changes in the flora.
I rarely walk the same path to get there, I suppose it depends on my mood at the time, or whether I am wearing shoes or not.
I spent a peaceful hour or so, and then felt it was time to get my day started.
As I was walking back up, I noticed the dog's kennel had been blown by the storm winds of the night before, and was lying in the middle of the western side yard. I started in that direction, but thought, no, I will check the mail, and put away my cup first, then move the kennel. I took another path.
Because of the near drought conditions that had besieged my county during the month of August, the grass under the older trees is already covered with leaves, in addition, due to the storm, I also noticed lots of small sticks and twigs littering the area, sort of doing a mental count, was it enough to gather up, and use for tender for campfires, enough to muck up the mowing? As I got nearer to the house, one of those brown leaves began to move.
At second glance, I realized it wasn't a leaf, but a small brownish and white bird, lying on it's back. It's tiny yellow feet curled up tight against its breast.
It's movements became more frantic as I moved closer, and then it lie very still.
I knelt down beside him, and gently turned him over. He had a pointy little beak, and a light brown, downy soft head. One wing spread wide in an attempt to fly away, but the other stayed close to its body. It hopped once, twice, tumbled over, and ended up on its back again. Once again, I very slowly, and gently cupped my hand over the tiny body, and turned him, with his legs still clutched tightly to his breast, he sat there unmoving, I had expected a frightened cheep, but no sound was emitted.
I couldn't discern an injury, but thought perhaps the wing was bruised, maybe he had been blown from the tree during the storm.
I went into the house, to look for a box, to place him in, the thought running through my mind, I doubt I can save him, but at least he won't become a neighboring cat's meal. I lined the box with leaves, even adding one that had a small amount of rain water cupped inside its curled edges, thinking, it would be a natural way for little bird to drink, if he was able.
I returned to the area where the bird had been, but I couldn't find it. I knelt down, my eyes sweeping the area. Had he just been stunned, and had flown away? Had a cat found him already? I hadn't been gone that long, all the while my eyes kept scanning the ground. Finally, I found him again, lying camouflaged amongst the fallen leaves. Not moving, but at least still upright.
Again, trying to be as gentle as possible, hoping to cause no further injury, nor to frighten more than necessary, I picked him and placed him amongst the leaves in the box. Oh, this time, he chirruped, cheeped, and chirruped again, as my hand lifted him from the ground. But once placed inside the box, he sat there peacefully enough. I placed the very tip of my index finger under his right wing, he spread it wide for me, I moved to the other, gently tickling the left wing, it too spread. "Hmmm, what is wrong with you little guy? Why aren't you flying away, you seem healthy enough?"
At that moment, both wings spread wide, he hobbled, he bobbled, and flew out of the box, barely skimming the tips of the grass before gaining a few feet of altitude, and landing on the branch of a nearby tree.
I wondered at this piece of happenstance. Was he stunned from a fall, and hadn't regained his equilibrium yet, when I came across him?
I don't know, nor will I ever know. But, I have decided, maybe, just maybe I was supposed to find him, I was supposed to take that tiny moment out of my day to see him, to feel his tiny fragile body cupped within my hand, I was supposed to give him the added boost he needed to get him going again.
Were we each a small gift to the other? It may seem silly, but I took a message away with me, of this unusual encounter.
I have spent the past few months, feeling lost, stunned by the changes that have occurred in my life, floundering, moving in slow motion, when moving at all.
Perhaps, little bird was there to give me a message?
--- It is time once again, to test my wings, to fly to the next stage of my journey to a new life---
(eh...probably not, but in my whimsical way...I have decided it will be so, at this particular point in my life, I need all the help I can get!)
**The oddest thing, I thought he was just a common house wren, but no photographs I have found show them with yellow feet, which is what I noticed the most about him, those very yellow tiny curled up little feet.**