Tuesday, November 10, 2009

lessons from a woodpecker

My daughter noticed this helpless feathered life lying on its side. A heart beat but a bone protruded from its delicate wing, and blood seeped from its beak. Still, I cradled it in my hands. Marci got a small box with a soft towel, and we laid the immobile bird, a downy woodpecker, to rest in the softness. It looked with acceptance into my eyes and we spoke to it in gentle tones, the language of comfort.

I asked Marci to take it to her room, away from the cats, and warm. The plan was to see if it could rest, and perhaps survive. I wasn't sure if the limp body could support life. About an hour later, Marci burst into my studio claiming that the bird was out of its box and sitting on her rug! We hurried with joy to her door, and the startled woodpecker, with improbable lightness, flew into the closet!

There were a few minutes of comical chase, as I, after catching his tuxedo-ed body in a towel, released him upon command. Just as he understood our soothing, I know when I've been told a thing or two! It occurred to me to open the window, remove the screen, and turn off the lights. It worked! With gentle nudging, Mr. Woodpecker took flight, and dissappeared from our world and into his own.

I think of the lessons from the world, and this is how soothing works. Healing is an unseen ball of light that we pass amongst us, willing all that is broken to mend, and finally, to take flight.


  1. are these interactions with the natural world not the best? rewarding no matter how they turn out... am so glad you had a happy ending and that you shared it with your daughter...

  2. Hi maire,

    I really thought that bird was a goner!But what was I going to do once Marci found it? I'll never forget how it just flew out the window and into the night!