A Sweet Rescue ... For Both of Us

2019 has kept me on a dizzyingly fast and furious track in my art. I love all of the activity and progress, but sometimes I just need to slow down and breathe!

Yesterday, I was given the Gift of Pause in the most wonderful way. And yes, it DOES involve a bird! Here’s what happened:

I was pulling out of the driveway to do errands last evening when I saw a black pile in the road in front of my house. It moved, and in the blackness there was a flash of red.

Oh, no! A Red-Winged Blackbird! It was injured in the middle of the road right where cars were sure to come through as it was 6:30 pm and people were returning home from work.

I re-parked the car and walked out into the street to the bird. He was extraordinary in his survival skills. Unable to take flight due to what seemed to be an injured wing, this bird instinctually knew that he had to get out of the road. He was actually pulling himself toward our yard by flipping himself over in a series of somersaults to get out of harm’s way! Incredible to witness!

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I knelt down beside him and just talked to him. I told him I was going to help him get out of the road. He only acted nervous for the first few moments. Then he quieted down and let me gently pick him up and nestle him into the palm of my right hand.

There we were, Human and Bird — Fellow Creatures — just being together. He must have been cold because he burrowed into my hand and he let me gently stroke his head and back. I sat down on our front steps with him and tried to ascertain his injuries. Nothing seemed to be broken, but it was hard to tell. I told him everything I was doing and why. (Yes, I truly talk to these winged folks every day when I fill their feeders!)

We sat together for several minutes communing quietly. We looked at each other eye to eye. He was watching me, and I was watching him. I noticed that he had a very long sharp beak, and never once did he try to peck me, which he easily could have done. No, we sat there and just breathed. I was thinking about how God loves every single one of His/Her creatures including this gorgeous fellow. I told him so.

I thought about putting him down in the front garden area behind a bush for shelter. When I moved to try to let him go, he clung to my fingers. So, I thought, OK, maybe he wants to recoup with us for a night — or maybe I need to take him to a recovery center …

The next idea was to get him into a comfortable little human nest (a box …) and the only way I could do that with him in my hand was to open the garage door. I kept talking with him, telling him what I was going to do.

I knew that the garage door could be upsetting to him, so, just as the door was to open, I tried to slowly move the two of us away from it.

While I was turning around, the sudden noise startled my winged friend literally … into full-on FLIGHT!

Ohhhh! It was wonderful!

I watched him fly up to one of the top branches of the tree in our front yard!

He started out a little dippy, like when a baby bird first begins to fly. But as he rose higher and higher, his flight became sure and certain.

I jumped up and down and cheered him on! He didn’t need recuperation time, he was GOOD TO GO! He stayed up there in the swaying upper branch while I got back in the car. I drove down the street thanking God for my friend’s recovery and continuing journey.

And I gave thanks for that quietude given to me in the course of this experience. I needed it, and I allowed myself to savor it as I ran my errands in a new-found relaxation and joy.

I returned an hour later and my Red-Winged friend was gone. The yard was totally peaceful with evening birdsongs issuing from all around the surrounding hedges and trees.

Post script:

This morning, the Red-Winged Blackbirds and their beautiful striped mates were swooping down all around the yard along with the Mourning Doves, the House Sparrows, the Royal Cardinal Couple, the new residential Mockingbird Couples (2 pair), the Blue Jays, the Brown-headed Cowbirds and the returning Red House Finches. In watching them all come and go, I also saw first time visitors — Chipping Sparrows, beautiful and tiny with distinct features.

For all, it was simply business as usual.

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Photo above taken from our window by Cinzia Rossi