This mysterious life of ours is always a miracle but sometimes an extra special magic offers itself. Earlier this week, I was walking towards the garage when I saw a lovely little bird sitting on the glistening snow. We’d had a profound storm over the holidays and the snow was piled feet high in the garden. The bird – oh, he was lovely! A yellow and blue head and an almost mossy tummy – was perched on the mounds of white like a king, so majestic he seemed. He was looking around, drinking in the beauty, the flitting light between gray clouds. I wondered if he was wounded and was just working out a path through the icy white towards him when an avalanche of snow cascaded off the garage roof. One more foot forward and I would have been smothered myself but I was spared that. Only what had become of the bird? Surely he’d been buried alive. I caught my breath, wondering what my next move should be, when I caught sight of him, still upright, next to the garage wall. The falling snow must have somehow propelled him backwards – and I was stunned to find him in the exact same position, yet a dozen feet away from where he had been. He wasn’t moving, though, and I sadly sang him a soft lament and some songs of love on his journey to wherever his beautiful essence would convey him.
For a couple of days, I would sing to him or blow kisses as I passed through the garage. The snow was really too deep to wade through and there wasn’t a bare patch of earth in which to lay him to rest.
So imagine my surprise when, several days later, I was standing outside the sliding glass door, imbibing the gorgeous white dress covering the garden, and I saw him move his head. It felt like a resurrection, an unexpected return to the land of the living. He was swinging his head this way and that and I called out to him in delight, O, my little beauty, you’re still with us! How wonderful!
And he turned his colorful head towards me and – oh, imagine this! – starting walking on his little claws, step by cautious step, directly towards me. I kept singing to him, inviting him over, feeling he would stop before he got too close.
But no, on he trundled, this brave, little creature, all the way across the garden, straight into my arms. I stroked his wet fur oh-so gently. He seemed clear and fearless. He had a goal, a destination, and it – for some miraculous reason – appeared to me. And now he had reached it, he just nuzzled up to me and imbibed all the love pouring out of my heart and hands. Oh, how heavenly it was to comb my fingers through the mop of his mossy feathers. He looked me straight in the eye, like a sage or a Master. It was a symphony of love and magic, one of those moments when time stops and all is harmonious in the world – animal and man merged into one sacred heart of communion. I offered him some seed but he wasn’t interested. Affection was all he cared for now, before he turned right and worked a careful path into a cocoon of snow and settled there.
I don’t know how long it took before he finally eased out of that magnificent body of his but one thing I am certain of is that I was the last person to see him before he died, that I was the graced one chosen to help usher him out of his garment of birdhood, and that we shared a love that transcended this human realm.
I sang him a warm lullaby that night as I lay down to sleep, feeling the enormity of his spirit – boundless now, freed of boundaries, of need. And I will cherish our rare and wondrous marriage in my heart for the rest of my days.