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.
BIRDING AT AZHEEKODE
3 hours ago