Close Encounters of the Bird Kind
When I discovered the Amazon rain-forest was burning I wanted to scream from the top of my lungs while I still had breath. I wanted to recoil in fear under the blankets with my purring cat lulling me to unconscious slumber-waiting for our expedited demise.....
BUT there I opened my eyes instead,
slowed my heart rate and my exhale,
and realized it was a beautiful calm day.
Where I stood, on the other hemisphere, it was quiet.
Maybe I could be more value if I enjoyed the day?
Redirected more funds to eco-causes? Raised awareness? If i simply Tried to help others by doing my job--live my best life loving this planet and my precious breath by not allowing despair to bury me alive. This idea began to penetrate, my wiser self nudging me toward more inspired action.
I would need to find a different strategy to navigate climate crisis--seemingly the WWlll of our time against ourselves. Climate crisis and environmental poisoning has been going on since the industrial revolution in the well disguised name of progress. I cried about acid rain as a kid, worried endlessly with nightmares about nuclear war and did science fair projects on how to clean up oil spills. I was distressed at the frequent oil spills in the ocean at that time. I won trophies and contests and my first air travel with pride to the Canada Wide Science Fair . I was 13. That was the 80's.
Now, I live on a little island in the Pacific Ocean next to mainland BC, Canada. This is one of my strategies to stay connected to nature and grounded in my skin and keep my sanity. It's pretty and rustic and tourists flock here every summer like migrating birds. I stay away from the crush of market crowds and demands in the heady days of summer and rather retreat to my near acre of trees sheltering various animal folks that keep me well entertained.
Among them this summer, a posse of comical baby racoons tumbling after their bad ass mama, a collection of hummingbird world class fighter fliers vying for the feeder and the vigilant deer wandering through in search of safety and good grazing. Visitations from the animal world never disappoint. They always help me feel more deeply connected to nature, honoured and in awe of their tenacity, wisdom, stamina and inventiveness.
I was a bird once,
high above -------------with an eagle eye, floating on the rafters,
I weighed nothing-- my flesh body clinging to the skinny strings of the glider--
yet my spirit flew unencumbered,
'rise above, rise above. ' the mountains cheered me on as I soared.
It was the most sublime experience of my life. I remember this in my exhale, in my marrow, my mind forgets but my heart never does---the freedom known...
Birds now find me--
since then, they must see me as their own--
Ravens skim the crown of my head,
drop gifts at my feet
watch as I unwrap them...
Owls serenade me to sleep after they accompany me in the woods
A hummingbird flew right up to my cheek this summer, minions of delight, I felt like a storybook Queen under a magical spell, it hovered so close I could feel the draft of its beating wings kiss my cheek....a gift from the heavens.
A little darling wren with the sweet brown eyes and tousled crown bed head --alighted on my laptop a week later, (my cat in close pursuit), his little wren head turning this way and that, intent to speak to me he had flown inside the living room, sat a few moments and then as quickly as he arrived--he flew safely straight back outside. He left no further instructions.
(and no, for the doubters, I am not kidding you I was just a gob smacked by these visits!)
The gentle earth and creatures we are all responsible for and must cherish, they do try to get our attention, to share resources, to cohabitate peacefully. They must marvel at our strangeness.
Honouring them and protecting what is rightfully theirs is another strategy, to be consistent with our actions; simple things, less plastic, more organic choices, more vegetables, no straws that aren't metal or compostable, using recycled building materials, sugarcane paper, planting more trees. We must. We must love the earth the way she loves us.
I've held a dying bird in the cradle of my hands--wept as I was split in two when it passed.
there are millions of annual bird casualties to our cold metal and glass architecture....
The flock of seagulls skimming morning shimmer on the ocean,
the acoustic Raven calling us home
robin song announcing dusk
these elements of you,
in this gratitude
I dared kiss the dawn and it embraced me as a favoured lover
let us love our way out of collective despair.
I would love to hear how you counter anxiety and despair within our climate crisis? Please share your