Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I grew up on a farm where I learned that animals were purposeful. I liked them a lot, but never grew attached to them because I knew they were not 'forever' pets. When animals died, for whatever reason, I felt bad; but to me, it was a fact of life and a cow is a cow and there will always be another one.
I know well the rules of nature - the survival of the fittest and the ubiguitous food chain.
So why is it I am so moved when one of the little birds dies at my feeders?
This morning, I was in the kitchen - watching the feeders every few minutes. There were a few more birds than there have been. I was encouraged. But, at one point, I was checking out the ground feeders and noticed a little pine siskin sitting in an unsual position on the ground. It wasn't moving very much, so I went outside and picked it up. It was struggling to breathe, I think. Its beak looked sticky, so I dipped it in a little cap of water, which seemed to perk it up - for a moment. But, as I expected, it soon stopped breathing. I had held this little life for just a few short moments before it wasn't there anymore.
I didn't feel what I should have felt, based on my upbringing. The more I live, the more I realize how fragile life is. Each life is unique and whether 'great or small', it is LIFE - an element we cannot create, restore, or hang on to. It is a precious comodity - something to be treasured, respected, protected and held in an open hand allowing it freedom 'to be'. Freedom to be with me or not.


Lynne said...

Oh Diane, I'm sorry. You are so right that life- all life is precious- a gift from God that cannot be created by human hands.
I'd like to think that you were able to give that bird some spark of warmth or comfort.

Diane said...

Lynne, you're very kind. I like to hope that it was comforted. Thank you for your comment.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Oh Diane, How sad. I'm so sorry. I know I will experience this at my feeders one day--but so far, I haven't. What happened --do you know? Was the cat around????


Rebekah said...

This sweet, little life in Diane's hands was indeed comforted. She stroked him or her gently until he or she took her last breath.

Those who have been held in Diane's hands would have no doubt of the comfort this little bird knew.

Kallen305 said...

I am so sorry to hear your sad news. At least it died peacefully in the warmth of your hands.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

God sees the sparrow fall,so I'm sure He caresabout hte life of each little bird just as He cares for me.PTL

Diane said...

Betsy, the kitty was in H.'s bedroom. There have been a couple of agressive birds at the feeders lately. The water froze? It didn't hit the window either. Not totally sure.
Thank you everyone - your comments are very sweet - Bless you!

ivars krafts said...

We may not understand how, but I believe the Lord provides for all of his creatures. I am sure this little bird felt comforted by you.

Leedra said...

It is really upsetting to find a bird that is dead in the yard. I think this would be harder still, because you saw (and held)it while it was still alive.

Sometimes it is hard to get so attached to them, but it is still worth it.

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Jayne said...

I found one on my deck last week. It was too far out for a window strike, so I am not sure why it died. Life indeed is fragile and it's good that you were able to provide comfort Diane.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry that happened...And now that I see him in your hand, I realize how tiny the pine siskins are...