Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Mother’s Day Meditation

When I was a kid, a couple of times each year, birds—usually house sparrows—would get trapped inside our garage. Even though the big, car-sized door was open, they wouldn’t understand how to get out, and would batter themselves against the glass of the garage’s little window, panicked and uncomprehending.

My mother—with a degree of skill that might more accurately be called magic—would catch these birds in her cupped hands and carry them out of the garage to freedom.

My mother has many talents, and she’s an avid birder; she taught me how to tell a starling from a grackle, where to look for the movements of wrens and nuthatches, how to make the pssssssh sound that lures perching birds into coming close enough to be identified. Her understanding of and appreciation for the natural world has certainly and profoundly influenced me.

But on this Mother’s Day, when I think about her relationship with nature, it’s those moments in the garage that come to mind: when I would watch anxiously as a frightened bird fluttered, so close to the vision of its freedom.

My mother’s hands held around the bird—that mixture of firmness and delicacy, of competence and tenderness; I can’t think of a better way to describe her or a better way to explain how much I admire her.

{A note: I do write all text and take all pictures. Please do not reproduce either without my permission.}


Anca said...

You made me cry.

Good Ol' Ant said...

I find this post to be both profoundly poetic and extremely moving.

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