Newcastle — I was on my porch early this morning, where I like to meditate. There was a light drizzle, but hardly daunting, and before sitting I looked about to see what migratory birds might have moved in during the night. There were some warblers flitting about the adjacent cedar tree, cleverly eluding the field of my binoculars. When I turned to my stool I noticed a small bird lying on its side on the decking. It was a chestnut-sided warbler which had flown into a window, perhaps, or merely fallen from exhaustion after a long night.
I stooped over and noticed that his legs were still twitching, so I picked him up and cradled him in cupped hands, thinking positive thoughts. While I was standing thus, for perhaps ten minutes, the sun came out. At this time of year that rarely seen yellow globe can be so comforting. I felt the bird move, so I lowered him to my table where he was able to stand, breathing rapidly through a parted bill.
The sun brought the black-flies; I swatted a few should my friend be hungry, but he was disinterested. I brought him a lid of water should he be thirsty, but he only stood passively by. I sat on the nearby bench and watched over him.
I felt tears on my cheeks. Wherefore this? I would guess it was compassion for all creatures who suffer this cruel if forgiving world.
some march forward, others follow behind;
some are shiveringly silent, others are all puffed up;
some are strong, others are meek;
some pile up, others collapse.” Tao
My companion remained standing, panting. I decided to read him a poem by Mary Oliver whom I find unfailingly cheerful and inspiring. She often writes of nature. (I would avoid the poems with predators.) Perhaps my voice might soothe and strengthen.
I went inside and came back with a volume. As I opened the kitchen door I noticed that the bird had moved to the edge of the table, and as I came out he took flight for the cedar tree. He had recovered!
Almost at once the sky clouded over and it began again to drizzle. No matter; the morning had begun most wonderfully.
little mouthful." Mary Oliver