Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Swallow

He tried to save it but knew he could not. Sitting in the living room he heard the fearful shriek and near resounding thud of the bird's body on the gallery floor.

With a start, he rose to his feet looking with a question in mind, trying to hide what he knew had happened, with a shroud of denial. Then he saw the swallow on the ground. It was near lifeless, yet breathing "Yes there still may be a chance!"

The thought of God was in his mind, so with this faith, he gently picked up the bird and set out to do what naturally came to him. To care. For this was the fire which drove his being, his philosophy, his truth.

Quickly, with the bird in both hands, he went to the sink. Turning the tap to a mere trickle, he allowed the water to run slowly, in the hope that the bird would drink to ease its shock of falling out of his nest.

Putting its beak near the outflow, the young man waited within himself to see if the bird would take. Seconds seemed like hours as he held a steady hand and eye. Then with the blink of its eye, the bird finally turned his head and began to sip.

Hope ignited in his heart as the swallow did this. Then when it had drank enough, he took a small basket from his mother's room, placed a pink rag in it and laid the bird there, that it may have rested and recovered.

He placed the basket on the table in front of him and then sat on the couch looking, and observing to see what would happen. But without warning the bird of black and white began to breathe rapidly, quivering each time it exhaled.

The young man now knelt behind the table, holding the basket not wanting to believe what he was seeing. Then a calm came over the room, and with this the bird's breathing slowed. And with each delay of exhale, he could feel an immense void threatening to envelop his heart.

With one last breath , the little bird left it's body in a ray of splendor unseen by the heartbroken boy in his sadness. The basket was placed back on the table and now his hands covered his face trying in vain to hold back the tidal wave of emotion he had held in his being for so long.

But no longer could it be restrained by the chains of his anger or jealousy, which he had built like a great wall around his heart. For now the facade was shattered, and his sorrow echoed silently as his tears soaked his entire world.

So many a time we try to hide in the world, living on our virtues and not realizing our fallibility. Yet we are brought to humility not by a multitude, but in fact by one minute bird, sent in the end to set us free.