I’ve been thinking of how/what to share about this for a long while, rolling formats and ideas and words around in my head again and again to see what was right to share.
I’ve been in active research mode for over 18 months, and have been so reticent to speak because I don’t know shit, and didn’t want to create harm by misspeaking. Until I got that not speaking was harmful as well.
So I still don’t know shit, but I’m learning everyday, and the least I can do is point you to people who DO KNOW and can teach about this.
Which is a long ass intro to saying:
I think it’s important for us all to look at the way we may be contributing to racism and cultural appropriation, especially if we identify as white, liberal hippies.
Which can feel really shocking… we are definitely the least likely to even consider we are. Cue: “But! I’m the least racist person on earth!”
I definitely felt kicked on my ass when I first realised I didn’t have a fucking clue about racism. I had to reconsider my own identity: I thought as a leftie highly educated hippy who didn’t identify as racist, I was immune to engaging in racism. I thought by studying Australian indigenous history and issues in university and adoring learning from spiritual traditions from around the world, I was immune. I thought by being an active and passionate philanthropist, I was immune.
Spoiler alert: I wasn’t. And by being oblivious to racism, I was engaging in it.
I totally don’t feel like I’ve dealt with it well publicly before. I’m so sorry. I wish I knew more, sooner. I wish I’d understood more, sooner.
I know this is something I’ll be learning about for the rest of my life. I’ll never master it.
But I’m grateful for all the people who are teaching about this, and all the lessons and wisdom I have learned from them.
And I’d love to point you in their direction to learn from.
I found this photo on my phone this afternoon. My daughter had made it. And it struck me at how perfect it was. I felt like I had nothing to write about.
And yet, a miracle happened today.
How could I forget?
It was my husband who alerted us.
I was at the dining room table with my daughters, starting to go through workbooks for the day’s homeschooling. He ran towards the back door, calling our dog loudly, bringing her back inside.
I looked up.
What’s happening my love?
“A little bird just flew into the window and is laying on the ground. I’m not sure if it’s okay, I just didn’t want Angel to disturb it.”
Oh that’s sad. The poor little thing. We’ll just leave it and hope it comes good.
But then my eldest daughter asked in that silvery, gentle, cautious way of hers:
Mum? Is it okay if I can just go and look at the bird? I’d like to see a bird up close like that if I could.
She was so open to it, and I realised the homeschooling lesson for the day had come flying in, literally.
We decided to move to the window closest to it, so we could observe it quietly without disturbing. And that’s where we sat for the next long while. Looking out the window together. Watching this beautiful, tiny little bird. The girls get their sketchbooks, and carefully draw it laying on the patio. Grey and yellow feathers, sloped beak, a white flash around its eye. Whispering wishes for it to be okay.
We don’t know if he will of course. Not sure if he will recover. I ponder in my head about how if this science observation ends in death, we’ll talk about the circle of life. We just wait, and breathe with him, and hope.
Eventually, after enough staring into space, quietly willing for his shit to be together, he scatters his wings and pirouettes before blacking out again in another tiny, furled coma.
More time, more waiting, more breathing, more whispered wishes, more drawing. Ostara draws the pirouette and flash of yellow grey wings.
Another seizure of energy, and he props himself up against the chair leg before promptly blacking out again.
Beth starts writing a letter in her journal to it.
You flew into our window and it has hurt you very much. You are lying on the ground and we can see your eyes. You will get better and fly away, and I want you to stay, but I also have a drawing of you, so I will remember you forever.
Get better soon.
Finally, heart in our mouths as we watch and witness, consciousness returns into his body. His spirit come home. He stations himself upright, fluffs feathers, watches the world once more.
I read the girls books by the window. I hope he enjoys hearing comics about Fly Guy as much as they do.
The afternoon sunlight falls through the silk tree leaves.
And then, in a span of wings, he is gone.
Back into the world of flight, and light, and living.
We are left, blessed. Blessed for the company, for the time spent with a tiny, unconscious bird. Blessed for his renewal and revival.
I tell my husband:
It was just the perfect visual allegory for me. That’s exactly how I feel when I run into the glass wall of life. I fall down, and lay and wait, staring into space, waiting to collect my shit again. But eventually, life and hope and movement returns again.
It’s evening now.
I’ve read the girls their evening fairy story, tucked them into bed.
Beth wanders out while I make my evening cup of tea.
Mum, I just closed my eyes, and there was our little bird, still in my mind. Isn’t that good?
I feel like our bird was the perfect embodiment of an Easter miracle.