Thursday, May 2, 2013

In the Wings of the Mother

The celebration of Beltane was just yesterday...May 1st. It is a celebration of all of life: plants, animals, and humans. The birds have built their nests in trees and many babies are just being born.

This morning, as I walked my dog, Abby, I noticed a nest toppled to the ground in my yard. As I looked around, I saw a baby bird (probably just born yesterday or the day before) lying broken in the grass...and then I saw another, and another, and another....There must have been four or five baby birds broken and bruised, lying in the grass. Some were obviously gone, but there was one that I carefully and lovingly checked on, gently nudging it with my finger. Only when I saw a slight movement, I gently picked up the tiny bird and carefully rubbed it's little back....another tiny movement, but so very strained and struggled. I was torn between wanting to take care of the baby myself and letting it's mother do her work, whether in healing or in grieving. Ultimately, I picked up the bird and placed it in it's nest on a low branch of the tree.

As I was taking care of these babies, in the tree branch above my head I heard a mourning song from who I can only assume was their mama.

As I thought about burying the baby birds, it occurred to me that perhaps a part of the grief process of the birds is in knowing that when one of them falls, she gives her life back to the insects and the earth that provides her food during her life. It is the cycle of life...the way of life and death...and perhaps even a part of the healing process of animals. Because of this, I thought I might not bury them at all, because the decision of how these babies are "buried" is not mine to make since they are not my babies...but they are mine. I don't mean this in the sense that I am their biological mother. Obviously, I'm not. They are birds and I am human. Rather, because we area all interconnected, it is the responsibility of all living beings to care for one another, especially in times of need. These baby birds belong to their mother and they belong to me and to you and to the earth and all that crawls on the earth and within the earth....and they belong to the Great Mother.

Great Mother, take these babies under your protective wings...and hold their Mother safe in your arms as she grieves the loss of her babies.

 "Fur and Feathers and scales and skin, different without but the same within. Many a body but one the soul, by all creatures are the Gods made whole." --Patricia Taylor ("Fur and Feathers and Scales and Skin")