Life Lessons with Molly
Here’s a story that is hard for me to tell, but I want to share it anyway.
The day before I had to go out of town last week, I heard a bunch of commotion in the yard and when I looked outside, there were our little neighbors, the 3 1/2-year-old triplets and their 6-year-old big brother, trooping over to the bird feeders by our dining room window. (They have an open invitation!) I waved, and the nanny showed me that she had something cupped in her hands. It was a baby bird.
I ran outside and the nanny said they found the baby sparrow in the street on the other side of our hedges. She asked me to take the little bird — and I did. The children showed me the spot in the street where they had found it. What was I to do? I was leaving for 5 days to do a recording project in less than 24 hours, and Peter was leaving the day after me. No matter. I fell instantly in love … with Molly. Yes, this little female baby sparrow became Molly in a single moment.
Though she was scared and agitated from the trauma of the morning’s events, Molly settled into the warmth of my hand almost immediately. She calmed down. She needed to get warm.
I walked around and searched both sides of the hedges, looking up into the very tall tree by the street as well, but I could not determine where she came from. One instinct was to simply try to put her into the hedge and hope her parents would find her. However, there are some BIG HUGE birds that crash-land into that hedge all the time. She would not have made it. She could not stay in the street either. Hawks have also discovered our bird sanctuary-yard, so setting her down on the lawn-side of the hedge seemed just as dangerous.
Still outside with Molly nestled in my left hand and my iPhone in my right, I asked Siri to call my close friend, Jenny, who I knew would have thoughts about what to do. While on the phone, she went on line and found several sites dedicated to caring for baby sparrows who have fallen out of their nests.
As per the online instructions, I settled Molly into a warm and cosy little box with a soft little cloth to nestle into, which she did immediately. I learned to spit a little saliva on my finger tip to try to re-hydrate her. She suckled the saliva immediately. She was thirsty.
By this time, we were inside, and Peter entered the scene. He made a quick porridge of ground crackers mixed with a little water. We fed her with an eye-dropper-style baster and she gobbled down a wee bit of food (she was so tiny!).
She seemed fine, and we discussed what we were going to do. Molly slept and woke up. We fed her again. She suckled saliva on my finger again. She slept again. In the meantime, Jenny had found out about an organization nearby that takes in baby birds just like Molly. We were getting set to take her there.
When Molly woke up the last time, things were not well. She was too little, and had, we think, gone too long without regular feeding, water and warmth.
We just couldn’t get her to the kind of constant help she needed in time.
She stayed with us long enough for the triplets and their big brother to discover her, pick her up out of the street and gaze at her in absolute wonderment. She stayed long enough for them to bring her to me. She stayed long enough for us to learn how to care for her on the fly. I know I did not do everything exactly right. We all punted, and I prayed for her too.
Molly was in the palm of my hand when I could see she was going to fly away from our experience. And she did -- quietly, wearily, and peacefully.
It really shook me. I was truly sad. And, I also understood that she graced us for a day, and gave us the experience of bringing her a little more comfort and warmth and even sustenance. Mostly, we got to love her and discover the miracle of her. There really was that beautiful exchange of love reflecting Love and that instinctual call to help and heal.
Molly lives on not only in our memories, but I also like to think of her flying in some other realm, spreading her wings and soaring free!
I know now that one option might have been to create a little makeshift nest for Molly and place the nest with Molly into the hedge near where she was found in the street. The quick-nest would have acted as a protection in the hedge. Her parents might have been able to find her and give her the care she needed.
And I know now where to immediately take these little baby birds who might need our help in the future.
I so wish we could have done it better this time. But I am so very grateful to have been part of assisting this little one on the last leg of her earth journey — and for love to have been felt and expressed all around.
I was talking with Jenny about this experience and I told her that I was still searching for the words. Jenny then provided them: “The lesson,” she said, “is seeing the sacredness of life at all levels and in all instances, whether large or small.”
Yes. So very true. Molly brought all of us — the triplets and their brother, the nanny, Jenny, Peter and me — right to the very sacredness of her life, and of all life.
Yes, I do think Life is eternal and it has all these cycles of light of which I know I am only dimly aware. But every little glimpse is precious and to be treasured. Molly provided a glimpse into the sacredness and eternality of life and nature.
Molly taught me so much about what to do and how to do it ever so much better if another little baby bird needs our help in the future. We’ll be ready.