Tag Archiv: birds

The season of letting go

Engraving from a French ice skating manual, 1813. Compliments of Public Domain Review.

Engraving from a French ice skating manual, 1813.                                                   Compliments of Public Domain Review

This is the season of letting go.  The thought comes a few weeks ago. I walk around with it uncertain. Letting go is not just about loss. It can feel good to lay down heavy things.That is what I tell myself. I try many times to write before I can find words.  I promise myself I can throw it away unseen.

If this were the season of letting go, I would. . .

               Let go of all the measurements and calculations to prove that I’m okay.

               Let go of attempts to be good enough to merit love

               Let go of all the people I have tried to get to fill the holes. Really. Let them all go. Wander out                into traffic to forget me or not.

               Let go of protecting myself from failure (who defines that anyway?) 

               Let go of needing to prove something, protect something, and stand out as something.

               Let go of the worry about where I fit or what people think

 

I keep picturing Boy two and the bird. We were on our way down the driveway when I saw the cat. She had a bird in her mouth. I stopped the car. Boy two tore open the sliding door and leapt out. He pried open her jaws with his fingers and against her wishes, the cat let go. The bird flew up from her mouth into the air, across the lawn and into the sky.

I am the cat right now, but maybe I will also be the bird.

That’s how far I get. After that weeks go by and I can’t look at what I’d written or think another single thought about letting go. So much for the cat and the bird.

Over the weekend, I take Boy one to the airport to fly alone across three provinces. Upon arrival he is to find a taxi, buy a bus ticket, and use up five hours (all composed of sixty minutes) before boarding a bus. At the other end of the bus ride is two weeks of summer camp a very long way from home.  It is my idea. (A fact which I hate myself for all the way to the airport.) Boy one is a tiny bit nervous (not nearly enough) but also intoxicated with the joy of so much trust, independence and adventure. I hug him goodbye at the airport. He walks away smiling.

Back in the car, I remember the season of letting go. My boy, in the air, above me, beyond me is tearing my heart out. I see a picture of us. Me privately grieving while I smile and gently push him away. He is too happy to see my tears. He cannot stop grinning. This is great comfort indeed.  My heart hurts, but I’m doing my job if in only a whisper I can croak out the word, “Fly!” to my son.

A question knocks at the door of me. Might a season of letting go become also a season of flight? Not just for him, but for me?

Sighting Spring

Trillium (the white flowers in the back ground) are the provincial flower of Ontario.

Trillium (the white flowers in the back ground and the provincial flower of Ontario) are in bloom.

Trillium flowers are brief spring visitors.

Trillium are very brief spring visitors.

Not as common as the white trillium but found in our very own woods. Unlike the white trillium which has no other interesting names, the red ones are also called: American True-Love, Birthroot, Bumblebee Root, Ill-scented Wake-robin, Indian Shamrock, Purple Trillium, Stinking Benjamin, Stinking Willie, Threeleaf Nightshade,  and Wake-robin.

Not as common as the white trillium but found in our very own woods. Unlike the white trillium (which has no other interesting names) the red ones are also called: American True-Love, Birthroot, Bumblebee Root, Ill-scented Wake-robin, Indian Shamrock, Purple Trillium, Stinking Benjamin, Stinking Willie, Threeleaf Nightshade, and Wake-robin.   How could I not feel lucky to have these on our property?

Since we got the bees, I have a whole new love for dandelions.

Since we got the bees, I have a whole new love for dandelions.

The only thing missing here is the music. That grand cacophony of song the birds do to say the whole world is rejoicing that it's spring.

The only thing missing here is the music. That grand cacophony of song the birds do to say the whole world is rejoicing that it’s spring.

I got a picture of this one, turned around and . . .

I got a picture of this one, turned around and . . .

there was this guy, just landing on the pond.

there was this guy, just landing on the pond.

 

Happy Spring!

Lucky

Northern Flicker (of the woodpecker family) but of no blood relation to the subject of the post.

Northern Flicker (of the woodpecker family) but of no blood relation to the subject of the post.

Two weeks ago a Northern Flicker came our way. Not being avian savvy, it was first just a bird with a pointy beak and a hurt wing. (We suspected the slinking stray cat in the bushes.) After a day it became clear that Flicker had no intention of winging his way into our hearts and magically healing in the box on our front porch, while ignoring the chicken food and bug offerings we had available. (He should have been eating ants, but I drew the lines at things that could march independently into the house.) So we drove to a bird hospital.

The woman that admitted Flicker flipped him upside down, inspected him and noted not only the wounded wing, but serious bruising and swelling as well. Before the cat, there was some kind of impact, she explained. He seems to have had a very, very bad day, she added. Maybe she said unlucky or maybe I thought it. Regardless, the notion got stuck in my head. Fermenting, wiggling, stirring gently until another way of seeing things occurred to me.

Getting hit, possibly by a car, and then getting attacked, possibly by a cat, really isn’t a great day. Unlucky is one side of the coin for sure. But after that, it falls apart. Flicker survived a punishing blow. Then Flicker survived a predator assault. He might have been finished off by a lawn mower, but a boy happy for diversion was mowing the fence line that day, not an adult determined to finish the job. Another boy, fearless and accustomed to catching all manner of small animals was nearby. Together they secured the bird without further injury. On the following day, a long anticipated, three generation, all family farm work day, the life of a bird might not have trumped the lure of assistance. But it was raining. Every time I looked up to see if it might be clearing, it poured down even harder.

Then there’s the fact that we live in Canada. Not only are there such things as bird hospitals, but there are computers and working internet. For some reason I needed to know conclusively what Flicker was before I agreed to drive an hour to help him. I found bird calls on the internet and played them. When the Northern Flicker calls came on, he called back. Listening to him talk was a convincing argument.

The admitting person told us he might not make it. This weekend I called back with Flicker’s ID number in hand to see what had happened. As it turns out, Flicker had been released back into the wild the day before. While some birds are now privately referring to him as Flicker the Blessed, word has it he’s taken to going by Lucky.