What a Wild, Addled Bird Says About You and Me

He slammed the rear window of our dining room.

As much as hear it, I felt it. The thud — hard and deep — felt like a potato slung at the glass by Cy Young.

It was a finch — gray as clouds on top, banana yellow on his belly, so small he could hide in a 5th grader’s palm. On his back, eyes and feet in a death clench, he lay on our patio, the wind and the sense knocked so far out of him the morning light was like midnight.

I thought him dead for a moment. But, no, there it was. Just a hint of breath. I massaged his belly with a fingertip for a short spell. Just until his eyes opened, glassed and vacant and addled.

Then, I left him. Just let him be, there to gather himself, to survive.  To catch the breath jarred so far out of him.

It took more than an hour, but he did catch it. What had looked like a balled up dead bird that would fit into a tea cup finally flew off into the wild.

And we all do.

Each of us flies, more than once, into the hard glass of what looks like a clear way. We get the hell knocked out of us, most times with a high velocity of our making. We fall, hard. Addled.

But then, anew, more than surviving, off we go, bruised, flawed, but on we carry. On we fly.

Another clear breath finds us, we take it, get up and go. The broken, the jarred, the flat-of-the-back — this is all of us.  With some good fortune, we take the touch of a soul who means us well.  Even in times when we seem alone, we are not.

Like a fragile little bird, we’re tougher than we seem, wilder than we appear. We’re fluttering human specks in the wild, invisible from the clouds, knocked at times onto our tail feathers, but loved.  We’re loved by one another and beyond the stars.

A human touch can cushion the thud, but a greater force gets us up from the fall.  To over-nurture is to fail to love.  To over-rely is to fail to live.  We flock together, yet can never make one another soar.   So it is with this wilderness life.

So it is, with broken little birds, and with you and me! It’s good, isn’t it — this life?  Hard falls, good flight, and all, it is truly good.


3 Responses to “What a Wild, Addled Bird Says About You and Me”

  1. Yes…indeed it is! I have flown into a barrier that seemed to be my clear and destined path one too many times. But I caught my breath and became stronger every time! God is so very gracious. He has proven each time my wings do mend and I will soar, fearlessly, into a brighter tomorrow.

    Beautiful words, Michael, as always. 🙂

  2. A great observation of human behavior, and how much our survival depends on our creator. Thanks, Michael.

  3. Butch Davenport Says:

    So so true…great piece. Life is truly good.

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