Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Barefoot on Wires

The storm woke me up from my nap this afternoon. It was strong and gray. It knocked against my window until I sat up. I decided to go downstairs and check the news to see what warnings were out about the weather. There were many warnings for many places. Floods, flash floods, winds, even the standard suggestion of a tornado. I watched out the window and hoped that the power didn't go out. If we loose power the basement floods, and I told God that the flood was just for you and that it can't happen again. The last time power went out it was in the middle of the night and I started to get angry and I cried out "no, no, no It's Frost's flood, you can't take that away!" and the power came back just in time. I was thankful then. The power only flashed today, it did not go out. I was thankful then.
The storm moved on, I waited. I tried to smudge away the red that was poison ivy dotting my knees. It didn't itch, it just burned. I waited. I read for a while, I've been reading quite a bit lately. About lives that never were, but could have been. I waited. I watched your sister read and get so excited about a story she knew but had never read herself. It was new to her even though the plot was very familiar. As she read each word off the page, I watched it become a piece of her. I waited. The sun came out and out I went.
I was waiting for the sun to come out. I sloshed through the water-logged yard to the back to the garden. I was barefoot and the water had collected itself in perfect little puddles in the grass. Clear water and grass cooled and cushioned my feet like little pillows filled with childhood memories. I looked around at what the storm had awakened. Birds. Birds were everywhere. On the telephone line above the garden several species perched and watched. Brown thrasher, cardinal, Robin,
Turtle doves (always in a pair), barn swallow, Mocking bird and Sparrow. I watched them too. I listened to the freshly clensed air. I heard a soft chirpping. I stepped to the bluebird house. The babies were inside, not bluebird babies but sparrow babies. The sparrow always beats the bluebird to the house every year. I listened to the babies calling to their parents, and then I heard a louder chirpping. The father bird was calling back to them and yeling at me at the same time. I realized I was making him uncomfortable, so I moved away. I looked up to the wire and it seemed that all of the birds were watching me. Some chirpped, some squawked, some whistled, some sang. Each had a different warning for me and assurance for their children. I knew that it was late spring and the babies were learning to fly. These birds were watching them, watching over their children, hoping for the best. I had interrupted. I thought about it for awhile, and I think they decided to allow me to watch. I watched and realized that the birds are different than humans in that they don't fawn over the choice of whether or not to have a baby. It is their only purpose, it is what they live for. It is why they have a dance, it is why they have a song, it is why they learn to hunt, it is why they build a nest. To have their babies, the birds sit and wait. They warm and protect. They do not have doctors. They fight off intruders and winds. They teach and feed. They let go. They loose babies every spring, eggs fall, cats strike, humans shoot. When you don't have a choice, does it still hurt? I think that it must, and they have passed down the pain through ages of song. I listen to the birds' song differently now, Frost.
Night, night Frost
mama loves you.

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