Monday, August 15, 2011

about a bird.

today, i spent a lot of time watching the birds.

i wasn't bird watching. there were no binoculars or vests involved, but it was watching, none the less. it happened early this morning-the house quiet, the baby napping. i was sitting on the couch waiting for my husband to call when i heard a flutter from outside the window that vibrated the walls and sent the pups into a fury.

when i ventured outside to see what the buzz was about i saw it. the nest that previously housed one mama dove and two baby doves was now empty, but for the lone baby left behind. the bigger baby bird had finally done it, after weeks of puffing and fluttering and waiting for dinner it had left the nest and flown to a nearby bench. it sat, motionless, eyes blinking rapidly, until it spotted it's mother. she was up above, high in the trees and she was calling out for him.

it took him a minute or two two muster up all the courage his little heart could muster, but soon he flapped his little wings and flew to the railing-just a bit closer-and then finally to the branch his mother was occupying.

i watched in wonder as moments later the daddy dove (a bird we'd watched for weeks take shifts nest-sitting and worm-catching) flew from a nearby tree and joined them. the whole famdamily, almost complete.
the three of them sat there and watched the lonesome baby bird for what felt like hours. every time i checked, there they were-perched together on that branch-some of them calling, some of them yelling, all of them waiting.

despite the calling and the singing and the lecturing (perhaps) the littlest dove stayed put. i saw him flutter a bit, in the afternoon-he puffed up his chest and filled his lungs with air and courage, but then the moment left him and he fell quiet again.
i checked on him after dinner and found him there, still. the family that waited for him all morning now gone.

as i write this post, it's evening. the crickets are chirping, the stars are emerging and all the sky is the softest shade of blue. my mother sits out on the porch rocking and watching and worrying as she does. "let's feed him something?" she wonders. "who should we call?" she asks. she is an animal-lover through and through and watching this baby dove left behind makes her heart sputter and ache and hurt.

these days, my baby bird and i seem to be attached at the hip. she is in my arms, or at my side or in my lap or on my mind. i left her, the other night, for just an hour or two, and returned to tear-soaked eyes, a quivering lip and arms outstretched anxiously towards me. she does that now, reaches out for me and even though i want her to be content with others, even though i want to get away every now and then, it warms my heart and fills me to the brim to see her twist her body and reach defiantly towards her mama.
i don't know what will happen with that baby bird sitting out there in the darkness. maybe he will find himself starving and finally muster up the courage to leave that nest. maybe we will have to scoop his little body into a box and drive him towards someone who can take care of him now. maybe he will just sit there, quietly, and watch the wind blow for a while.

or maybe, that mama bird will return.
i just can't help but think that she will.

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thank you for your shout outs!