Debra Katz – Set Free
On August 30th, 2007 two things happened that will forever be merged in my heart.
I work in downtown Minneapolis where many of the downtown buildings are inter-connected by “skyways” so that folks don’t have to walk outside in the bitter wind-chill during the winter.
As I was walking into work on Thursday morning, I was just about to walk under the skyway that connects to my building at the 2nd floor. For some reason I stopped and looked behind me… a few steps back was a small “something” on the sidewalk. I don’t know why I stopped; maybe some small voice of spirit called out to me to pay attention. I backed up and took a closer look.
There on the ground was a small bundle of feathers. It was a hummingbird. At first I thought it was dead. Its poor little wing was pointing to the sky at an odd angle and its head was at a crooked angle from its body. It looked to me like it had flown into the skyway windows and broken its neck.
And then it blinked at me.
The little bird was so vulnerable lying there. Looking at the odd angle of its neck and wing, I assumed that it was dying. It did not deserve to die lying on the sidewalk where someone could step on it in a hurried moment of inattention. I could see its little chest heaving fast as it tried to breathe. I could see fear and panic in its small eye looking up at me.
I put my purse and bag down and, ever so gently, scooped up the bird. It weighed less than an ounce.
Our building is surrounded by a large raised concrete area and the outside edges are surrounded by planters filled with daylilies. I thought that I could find a sheltered place for the little bird to lie, sheltered from the sun and up off the pavement.
As soon as I cupped the little bird in my hand it started to revive. Its breathing slowed down. It even nestled its little body into my hands and adjusted its wings. I found a nice sheltered place for the bird. When I went to set it down on the concrete under a lily leaf it clung to my finger with one of its tiny feet.
I adjusted the leaves around the bird so that they didn’t poke it in the eye or block it from flying away if it were later able to fly. Maybe the poor thing was just stunned. The longer I watched the bird the more I could see the panic leaving its little body. Its breathing slowed and it no longer heaved its whole body when it took a breath.
I went back, picked up my purse, and returned to the ledge to see how the bird was doing. It sat there and looked at me. No longer the pathetic look in its eyes. I took one more look and then went into work.
At lunch time I just had to go check on the bird. Maybe I should take some sugar water down for it. I know that hummingbirds have an extremely fast metabolism and if the bird had a broken wing, it would need some food. I also thought about which animal rescue squad to call if the bird were injured and not just stunned.
I went outside with worried expectation. Would the hummingbird still be there? I walked up and down the planter looking for the bird. It wasn’t there. I checked all around on the sidewalk below the planter. Nope, it hadn’t fallen off of the edge. I also checked to see if it had falled into the planter and was under the plants somewhere. Nope.
I walked back and forth several times making sure that I hadn’t missed the bird. A miracle. It must have just been stunned. The poor bird was so vulnerable on the ground, and I could easily have not noticed the bird on the sidewalk. I felt that this was a small gift between the “universe” and I.
Later that evening Deb’s mother called me to tell me that she had passed away after her long struggle with cancer. I’d like to think that Deb sent the little bird to me. It helps me to see Deb as the miracle injured bird that has flown away.
Be at peace dear friend, you brought sunshine and laughter to so many lives. You will be missed. Thank You for the sending the miracle bird to tell me that you are OK and flying free.
As I walked into work today, when I was a block away from where I found the hummingbird, I saw a huge dragonfly sitting on the sidewalk. It was a cold morning, the temps were in the 40s. I knew that insects are not able to be “active” until the day warms them up and revives them. The dragonfly wasn’t dead… just lethargic and sitting on the sidewalk.. again another little creature sitting vulnerable on the pavement.
It didn’t move as I neared it, I gently put my fingers under its wings and lifted it up. It too grabbed my finger with its feet.. I placed it gently in the grass to wait for the day to warm up and for it to awaken and fly away…
Must be me and stunned critters on the sidewalk these days…