Saturday, November 7, 2009

Honored, regarded, regrettted

It's been... a day. The DM played a gig last night until past our usual bedtime, so my groggy self spent a little longer than usual coming to grips with the morning. From my disoriented perch on the sofa I sensed a flutter and heard a thunk. Uh oh.

Sure enough, there below the front window was a bird. I hoped she was only stunned, but over a period of maybe ten minutes she faded, shuddered, and died. It's not the first time I've witnessed death, but for some reason this little passing seemed particularly poignant. How many times a day does such a scene play out unnoticed and un-noted?


Black-throated blue warbler, female. Not a common sighting in these parts. In fact-- she was my first. In action along the river would have been a preferred life-bird experience, but there she was, a little gray-green-yellow mound on my porch.

I imagined her last breath as a tiny, swirling eddy, so small that only the air itself would feel her exhale and acknowledge the loss. Except I was there, too. And as a witness it's my duty to testify...

I saw her. I held her. Honored. Regarded. Regretted.

9 comments:

moreidlethoughts said...

Thankyou. On behalf of all the wild things and all who care.

Debra James Percival said...

So sorry, not a great way to start a day. You gave her a lovely good bye.

6p00e54ece6c1b8833 said...

Bless you! What a lovely way to honor, regard, and regret. Funny too--this morning I made Richard stop so I could haul a beautifully soft and limp jackrabbit off the road and into the desert to decay in peace. I wrote a haiku about her for my daily Twitter/FB post. Guess it was a day for honoring those lives that collide with humanity and don't survive the crash. Yours is such a wonderful tribute. Mine's just words.... ;~) Susan

Wendy Willis said...

Thank you Sherrie, for your compassion and for sharing such a touching memorial.

Jennifer Rose said...

:( this is a lovely way to honor her. a gorgeous drawing even if its a sad event.

MJ Morgan, Writer said...

Thanks to Susan Tweit for pointing out this poignant post. Sherrie, your kind act nudges my heart to follow through similarly when occasions arise. As the monks who ask forgiveness from the creatures they crush walking the earth, mere mindfulness is all that's required of us. So glad to visit here and enjoy your art and your thoughts.

Sherrie Y said...

Hi everyone! Thanks for responding so warmly to this experience. For me it was an important reminder, too, of why I stumble around trying to make images of nature. If we are paying attention to the world around us, as I know all of you are, I think it's so important to respond. It's a bigger world than computers and economies and politics. Even when it's just a 4" warbler.

(PS: Welcome, MJ!)

Gabrielle said...

In moments like those, my heart breaks, but my naturalist curiosity always feels so privileged to be able to observe the creature so closely. You made a beautiful portrait of her.

Annie B said...

Beautiful beautiful drawing. And a hard story. I once found a dead eastern bluebird on a bridge in the middle of downtown Boston. That experience gave me a similar mix of feelings -- sadness, wonder, curiosity, a feeling of being privileged to be a witness.