When I go outside in the evenings, fireflies dance before me. Birds have become my near constant companions. There are times when it feels as if I've entered an Alfred Hitchcock movie and sometimes I feel more like Cinderella, just waiting for the birds and other wild animals to come and do my household chores for me. These pictures were all taken while sitting here at my desk. The sparrows perch on the window screens and chirp and look at me before flying back to the lilac bushes, but the cardinals do not like to get so close and stay in the lilacs and rose bushes.
In some ways, I wonder if this airyness, this non-groundedness is part of the longer term grieving for my Grandmother. Her house is now sold, there is no place to go back to. I had thought that there might be relief (and there was some), that with my Grandmother gone, I would no longer be the "Oldest Daughter of Saint Irene, the Perfect One." Some years ago, after I had pointed out what a difficult role that was, my Grandmother no longer referred to my mother with those words, at least in my presence, but they were implied right to my Grandmothers last breath. (well, she never used the word "Saint" but she did use the word "perfect" frequently).
All those among the living who remember my mother, remember her in more round and more human ways, so this burden should have been lifted. But with the death of the person who saw me as the "Oldest Daughter of Saint Irene, the Perfect One" I also lost the person who saw me as a reflection of that perfection. A pale and imperfect reflection, of course, but a reflection, none the less.
Those of you who know me from more than one place may have noticed that there are no pictures of me anywhere. With the exception of those "can't get out of it" pictures, there are almost no photographs of me anywhere at all. Historically, this has never bothered me. All pictures ever did would be to show me what I was not. I was not blond and blue eyed (as was my mother), tall (well, taller), stunning and confident. Not having a visual record was easier. But now, in the middle of the night, when normal people are tossing and turning and not sleeping for worry about bills and the economy and politics, I lay in bed and wonder "Do I actually exist?"
So what might the messages from the birds be?
Sparrow: It reflects self-worth. If Sparrow has entered your life, ask
yourself if you know your own self-worth. It was considered the
symbol of friendly household spirits, and a pet to
Cardinal: is a reminder to add “color” to our life
and to remember that everything you do is important. Cardinals stress
recognizing your own importance. The very color of the bird is that
of life's blood. (more or less)
The learning never ends.