Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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©Katherine Dunn.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Little Bird gives me a message

Last night as we sat on the porch relaxing after a long day, a little fledgling came across the yard, about twenty feet from us over by the barn. He was a bit wobbly and we waited, looked for a nest nearby but all the shrubs were pretty far from where he appeared, almost out of nowhere. Since he seemed to not take any interest in hopping anywhere, I scooped him up.

I tend to follow nature when it comes to wildlife–leave it alone–just as when you see fawns alone in the filed, the mother is almost always nearby, and it is her way to teach them of their coming life without her help. Birds are the same. But, this little guy seemed healthy, but a bit off. He sat still while I picked him up. His eyes were bright and he could perch well, so we made the assumption he was pushed out since he was big enough, or he fell out, or the mother knew something we didn't. There are many arm chair bird experts out there who will give me all sorts of unsolicited advice but on this instance I made the choice to gather him up, feed him and put him in a crate surrounded with the recently sheared llama wool from Birdie. He ate well. Maybe I overfed him, but this morning, he was dead.

But that little bird reminded me of some important things about myself. Things that have been on the back burner for a while due to first planning the move, and then the actual long journey east, and now-the settling in part of the post move. I sat with that little bird, singing it my bird song. It was all I wanted at that moment, to help the baby bird perhaps make it through the night. It just made me remember who I am, or one important facet of my being-that child that saved moths with broken wings, keeping a feeling in her tiny five year old heart that if I tried hard enough, that moth would fly away. Sometimes they did. Mostly, they died in the time that nature designated at that moment as 'their time". But it was the childlike optimism, the hop, that it would fly that was important.

It's the same child optimism that I felt last night-that I can help a creature–that stuck with me as I went to sleep....maybe it will make it, I thought. Even though I knew it was doubtful, maybe it will make it overrode the inevitable practical voice that it wouldn't.

The fact the little bird died is not an issue. It was its time, and it was safe and warm. But it gave me a gift of insight. He is the first of many little creatures that will undoubtedly cross my path here who I will bury in the now nearly empty cemetery. I can't save everything, and don't need to, nor want to. But I can lead with my child like optimism each day I walk out the door.