Monday, May 6, 2013

Life is Precious Part One: The Morning I Buried a Bird

Recently our landlord put down fresh grass seed for us in our back yard. Our little plot of land behind our townhome isn't large, but we're putting forth our most valiant effort to help the grass thrive. We have been diligent at watering it and recently concluded that, though few, the weeds that are present should probably be removed to improve the success of the grass.

After weeding the grass I ripped a big dead weed from between the patio bricks. I looked over and noticed something I hadn't noticed before. What is that on on the bricks? Upon closer inspection I discovered it was a baby bird, laying there --lifeless. It looked too small and featherless to have even hatched on it's own yet. 

How did it get here? What happened to it? Poor baby bird. It's poor mamma.

I felt so sad for this little lifeless creature. This little bird who's life was so short. 

Though small and lifeless, the little bird was quite miraculous. He* had been growing and had wings, and a beak, and little fragile and frail legs . . . now limp. How perfect he seemed and how sorry I was that he didn't get to spread those wings and fly. 

I couldn't help thinking of my baby and everyone's babies whose spirits leave their small fragile and frail bodies sooner than any of us would anticipate. I couldn't help thinking about the aching moms who had so many hopes and dreams for their little ones. But sometimes God has a different plan and our little ones don't live their lives like we envisioned they would. They live them briefly, yet leave more of an impact on anyone than we could have imagined.

I felt like I couldn't just toss him in the trash can that was there right next to the patio. It didn't seem right. So I dug a small hole for him and buried him. I know he was just a bird, but he reminded me of how precious and sacred and glorious life is. He reminded me of the ache and sorrow I and many other mothers face when we lose our little ones. He reminded me of how miraculous and beautiful growth is even if it ends before we would deem it complete. 

So thinking of how much I didn't enjoy having to bury him and recognizing that someone had to do it, and remembering my mom and her courage when she buried our dog Tuffy when I was in elementary school, and thinking about the horse grave Trevor and I found off a wooded trail several months ago and how much harder it would have to be to bury a horse, I closed my eyes as I scooped the dirt over the little bird's body. In one scoop and some shuffling of the mulch to cover it up it was done. Poor bird. It seemed like his grave was worthy of a marker so I carefully stuck some leaves in the dirt above him. The little leaves even seemed to look feathery to me. I liked that.

Life is precious and fragile and this morning I was reminded of that.

And I wish that is where my thoughts ended, but that will be post for another day  . . .