Avian Friendship

Avian Friendship 

 “Chirp chirp!”

“ I love you!”

Always this exchange

between us as he

lands in the crabapple. 

I peer into withering leaves,

  encroaching dusk,

strain to glimpse my friend. 

He fluffs his feathers

  flashing ruby red.

   He sings for Life –

Sorrowful songs

for trees and water.

I feel his Love

pouring through

each cell…

He is Phoenix

rising out of the ashes

of Mourning Days,

his presence Balm 

  for war torn minds,

  fearbound bodies

 moving on.

 Though mist shrouded

 mountains crumble under

Anthropogenic strain, 

 each dusk he comes

for seed, 

to remind me that grace exists,

to let me know 

 I am seen.

It is impossible to describe the intimacy that develops between a bird or animal and a person. The fact that a wild creature chooses to befriend me like this cardinal has (and all of his

 predecessors have) seems like a perpetual act of Grace even though our relationship spans almost 20 years and generations of birds..

This kind of love is dependent upon a mutual ability to feel and sense. Our feelings and our senses reside in our bodies. Our culture denigrates feeling and sensing (along with bodies) just as it elevates thinking. I have been taught to feel shame about feeling so intensely, sensing is ignored or dismissed as non – rational, and yet without these gifts, which I am still apologizing for, I would be unable to communicate across species with the ease that comes with non – verbal communication. 

Animals know because they sense and feel.

This bird announces himself when I walk out the door – all year round. I never get used to the fact that he is talking to me, lets me know when food isn’t available, and during late summer, brings in his offspring to teach them how to call me for food when I am inside the house. He has an uncanny knack for appearing to witness when I am feeling totally invisible and unloved. In times of deep distress I am comforted. Sometimes, like last spring, he flies in chirping madly when I am going to make a serious mistake. Although we always greet one another out loud the remainder of our conservation is wordless on my part. Except when I call out “Hi beautiful” in a random sort of way. Usually he continues to chirp; in the spring he sings his complex love song, sometimes over and over. Most communication occurs directly – body to body.

 My relationship with these birds began when I first built my house, and over the years has become more complex and nuanced. Even when I am experiencing profound hopelessness his presence brings me back into my body in a way that allows me to feel gratitude for the gift of life.

Autumn Equinox 2021

(picture taken last winter) 

2 thoughts on “Avian Friendship

    1. Yes, birds are indeed healers – wise beings that know more than we can imagine (some of us anyway) You know from your parrots, I know from Lily b my house dove and from the birds outside my window…how I’d like to see one of your parrots! Miracles, yes!


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