July 5, 2015

Hope warrior

Today I have been given hope.

A small bird slammed into our living room window this morning. The girls and I watched as it lay on it's back, closing its eyes and bicycling its legs, breathing fast. I realized that I couldn't just sit sadly and wonder if she would recover. It was chilly still from the cool night and the least we could do was pick it off the cold cement. We all went out to the rescue. She briefly opened her eyes when I picked her up, but shut them again once she was wrapped in the fleece blanket we had selected. The girls were delighted at the small creature. They timidly reached out their fingers to stroke its head, and looked up at me with beaming, proud eyes. I could feel her heart pounding and her chest expanding in my hand, even through the fleece.

Oh God, don't make me bury this bird. I'm not ready to explain death.

We put the bird and her fleece nest into a box and rested a knifed-up air hole lid on top. The box was placed in the dark of a closet and we were careful to be quiet while we got ready to leave for the morning. The internet said that the bird needed a lack of stimuli to reboot. I was fairly positive the bird was going to die.

On the other side of the city, at around the same time, our friends gave birth to a baby girl. She was born on her parents' bed, in the house she will call home. I held her just hours after she was born. Her eyes were closed, but she was stretching her arms about and wriggling her new, pink body. I could feel her breath on my cheek as I leaned in as close as I could to take in the newness. They named her Louisa Hope, a little Hope warrior.

On the way home, we tried to warn the girls that our new winged friend might not be okay. "She might be dead," I said, to which Gladys replied, "I think the birdie will be okay."

We took the box from the closet and brought it outside, prepared for some kind of ceremony. When I opened the lid, I was surprised to find the bird sitting upright, eyes wide. She looked at us over her shoulder for a moment, and then she turned and flew to a tall branch on a nearby tree.

We saved a bird and a hope-filled child was born.
All is well.