The blueberry bushes in the front yard are at their peak. Every day or so I pick the colander full of the plump, sweet berries. Blueberries embody summer. They taste of sunshine, earth and summer rain, held in juicy sweetness.
The other day while picking, I found a small, perfect feather cupped among the leaves. It looked to be from one of the tiny birds that lives in the neighbours hedge. I am not a birder, but perhaps a wren? I left it there, expecting it would blow away.
I had forgotten about the feather when I went picking a few days later. For the second time its presence among the berries surprised and delighted me. This time I saw it as an offering. I accepted the gift and added it to my altar.
This morning, out in the back garden, I was startled by a rustling in the peas. This was not wind, it was as if something was in the peas, a critter of some sort, but one that did not run away at my curious approach. It took me a moment to see that there was a wren in the vines. I could see that it was somehow tangled in the netting.
As I came back out from the house with a pair of scissors, I stopped to smooth out my energy and ensure it was calm and gentle. Through it I let the wren know that I was coming to help. It stilled, but then beat its wings in an effort to fly away as I came right up to where it was snagged. Slowly I snipped that netting around its foot and wings. It flew up, only to become entangled on the other side. As I released it again, it flew into the netting at the end.
I kept thinking of the birds who hit windows because they can’t see the glass. These are consequences of our human ways of doing things. This fine black netting was almost invisible. I clipped that netting and watched as it happened again.
This time I took the scissors and cut a big hole in the spot where the wren had last been, opening it up wide. When I once more snipped the netting where it was now ensnared, sister (brother?) wren flew for the hole and was gone.
I hold the feather from the blueberries with a new reverence. For a moment I thought it was a gift for helping the wren, that somehow the universe knew about this in advance. But I realize it was given to remind me that we live in symbiosis with all life. My call to healing is not only for my human sisters and brothers, but all of creation. All my relations.
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