This I Believe

Mary - Lusby, Maryland
Entered on December 16, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: nature
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Insignificant lives

Many years ago I saw my first bluebird. I admit, at first the bright, azure color of the males caught my eye. As my curiosity grew, I learned as much as I could about them. I could easily recognize their soft calls and loved watching the “wing waves” to their mates. I fell in love with these beautiful and gentle birds. I knew that this gentleness and beauty also existed, somewhere, in each of us.

I soon had put nest boxes up and bought meal worms to put on a small plate to attract them to my yard. I would monitor the parents nest and watch them constantly bring worms to the chirping babies inside. Soon after, I would see tiny heads, momentarily peaking out of the hole in the nest box. When the time would come for the fledglings to leave the nest, I could feel the anxiety as the parents would sit in a nearby tree and call to their young. I always felt the tension as these tender babies would leave the security of the nest box on their maiden flight. The world held so much danger. Sometimes, the little one would tire and fall. It would be encouraged to get up and try again, by a parent coming down closer, softly calling. One by one they would get up the courage to make the voyage, as the parents would patiently wait for all family members to join them atop the tree. They would then disappear for a week or so, when finally one day, the parents would bring all of them to the bluebird feeder. I would feel deep inside pure joy, for the beauty and innocence I was witnessing. The mother would soon be busy building a new nest and taking care of her next family. It would be up to the father to feed and teach these juveniles for some time.

As I would walk my dogs along the road and I could hear them gently calling to each other. Sometimes, I could see the pure blue color fly by or see them sitting in the trees above. For a brief second, it felt like I was back in the Garden of Eden.

One day, on my return walk home with the dogs, I saw a bright blue color lying in the road in the distance, close to my house. As I approached I saw that it was the father bluebird. Probably he was flying back to his children from the bird feeder, with worms to fill their bellies. He must have been flying so intent on his mission that he didn’t see the car that hit him. Tears filled my eyes as I realized the loss of this small insignificant life. He was gone in the prime of life, full of responsibilities. I realized that no life is insignificant; everything has its life mission, no matter how small. This I believe. I wondered about his children, they would be on their own now. Their mother would be busy with her new family. Would they survive? I’ll never know, but at least I can feel the loss of one small, insignificant bird, who graced my life, ever so briefly, with its beauty.