Posted by on July 13, 2021

         I’m just going to start writing.  Nothing in particular came to mind as a topic for this week’s blog, so let me see where my head takes me.

         I wrote in yesterday’s “Monday Morning Mailing” that I had hoped to get my office cleaned out before our cleaning lady came today.  No surprise, that never happened.  Instead, I opted to take advantage of the weather and get the yard work done (edging and mowing, despite the heat index of 100-plus).  In addition to that, I weeded our small vegetable garden and watered the outdoor plants including our tomatoes and peppers.  I tried transplanting some wild sunflowers that had sprung up in the veggie garden, but they were limp before the afternoon was over.  I suspect they’ll be totally gone by now.

         Speaking of things dying … we have mucho little sparrow-type birds living in the gutter under the retracted awning on our front porch.  They’ve got the gutter pretty well packed with grasses, straw, etc., but other than the inconvenience of not being able to use the awning (for fear of destroying the tenement arrangement they’ve got going) and the continual bird droppings outside our front door, it’s not a big deal.  So, imagine the sadness that most of us felt when we found a newborn bird flailing about on the hot porch, just barely able to breath.  Evelyn and I knew there was nothing that could be done to save it – it didn’t even have feathers yet – but Karlyn wanted to try to keep it from perishing.  We told her it was useless, but she kept insisting that we should try.  Now, that all sounds very compassionate and almost childishly naive, but the whole time she tried to convince us to save the chick, she was laughing.  She’s told us before that she doesn’t handle death and dying well – that, in order to keep from crying, she laughs.  She doesn’t intend to come across as thinking the situation is funny; it’s just a coping mechanism.  Nevertheless, she was laughing, and it made me all the more determined to let nature take its course.

         It didn’t take all that long for nature to take over.  About an hour later I went out on the porch only to find the chick on top of the storage bin where we keep our porch furniture cushions.  My guess is that one of parents must have tried to take the chick back to the nest and dropped it in the process.  It didn’t matter; the little baby bird had expired.  So I discreetly and respectfully placed it in a paper towel tube, crimped the ends, and quietly placed it in the trash bin.

         Karlyn was not happy.  Not because the bird ended up in the bin, but because I didn’t tell her when I was about to do it.  Why would she want to know that, you ask?  I kid you not … she said she had wanted a picture of it.  At that point I knew I had done the right thing.  I wasn’t about to feed her ghoulish mind.  She’s brought it up only a couple more times since then, but I let it pass.

         Nature can be so cruel.  So unfair.  Why did that one particular chick have to be robbed of a full life?  Why couldn’t that little chick grow up, have its own family in our gutter, and know the ecstasy of flying?  St. Paul promises that there will be a time when “we will understand fully, just as we are fully understood,” and I take that to mean that even questions such as that one – as comparatively insignificant as it might be in this wide world – will be answered.  So, should it come up among the many questions I believe I will be carrying with me to my grave, I’m confident that I will eventually know the answer.

         As I write this, it’s getting late (I’m writing on Monday evening because tomorrow is just about totally crazy: a 7:00 AM breakfast with a friend at his home, helping Evelyn with a project before I leave at 11:00 AM for a lunch with a friend an hour from here, and then, perhaps having time in the afternoon to clean my office.  A little after the fact as far as the cleaning lady goes, but then it’ll be done for her next visit).

         Guess it doesn’t take much to get me talking.

Posted in: Writings