© Jo Hewitt THE TEAL MANGO, 2013
The SSB Drever and I chanced a walk today between sprinkles and threats of storms. We traveled along familiar paths. We saw people planting flowers and attending gardens, people sharing luncheons and coffee, a mother patiently on the sidelines while her daughter practiced, learning to ride her bicycle. People were out and about enjoying the life that the refreshing air of spring brings. New beginnings, hope, a fresh outlook.
But at one point on the walk, I just stopped; tears welled up in me. Before me on the pavers was the body of a baby bird, its eyes closed, its body still naked, bereft of the feathers that would allow it to soar. It had landed in a somewhat contorted position with one wing twisted, pointing up toward the sky, the wind morbidly causing a slight flutter, belying a false sense of the hope of the resurgence of life . I looked up into the little crab apple tree to see the mother robin just sitting there, in the nest, not moving, barely blinking, keeping vigilance over the body of her baby child. How utterly horrible to have your baby taken from you to the realm of death. I stood for awhile to mourn with her, I cried the tears she could not.
I thought of my own children. I thought of the love that mothers give and the torment that mothers could endure in the day to day vigilance in the caring and rearing of their children in normal life let alone the horror of having them destroyed before you from war or starvation or from so many other atrocities.
I thought of my mother and her death only two months ago, of her last week of life, her body pale, her bareness, bareness of animation of her soul, an occasional movement of a finger or wrist, not unlike the death flutter of the dead baby bird. But her eyes were open and in them I could see the excruciating pain of dying. I thought of all the sacrifices she had made for all of us, of all the times a little part of her died.
I feel in someways we are all fledglings at any stage of life-or death. I am still a fledgling, not quite able to soar. Every stage of life requires the fearlessness of spirit to take flight. There are days I just don’t have it. I can no longer look to a nest for support, my mother hovering by. How many times in these two months have I thought, “Oh, I’ll call Mom.” But I can’t. My children will always be my fledging babies. I stand back and watch them heading into the winds of the different stages of life. I am happy that they seem to be stronger and can fly higher than I could ever dream.
Mother child mother child mother child-the generations become one-one continuous cycle of life and love, of giving love and yearning for love. A mother’s love, no matter what form, bird or human, is an incarnation of the life force-love.
Fledgling-Transcendence of a Mother’s love
Silent spring mourning,
Blind, bare, broken winged fledgling,
Dying flutter tears.