Friday, February 3, 2012

Where Art Thou, Little Bird?

I miss my little bird.

No, I'm not talking about a pet bird. Nor Angry Birds. Nor a certain part of my husband's anatomy. (Besides which, he'd object to the descriptor!)

Little brown bird.
Rather, I'm talking about a tiny wild bird that used to live in an enormous prickle bush outside my kitchen window. As I would make my coffee and fix my breakfast, he'd chirp away, while his delicate feet took his portly body hopping from branch to branch. And I would take soothing pleasure in his presence.

I'm reminded of my little friend as I sit in Montgomery County Community College's new art gallery. Above the latest exhibition, in the gallery's loft, there's a brown bird in this converted barn with me. He's flitting from window to window, perching here then there. As he picks his way across one of the exposed beams, his movements and his chirping bring to mind my little bird outside my kitchen window.

A few years ago, we had a patio installed outside my kitchen. There was no room for a large prickle bush. I really hated that ugly old bush. But I really miss my happy little bird.

In honor of my friend, here's one of my favorite Emily Dickinson poems. I'm hoping that my litttle bird was able to find another home, one where he is bringing soothing pleasure to another.

Emily Dickinson

"Hope" is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—

And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard—
And sore must be the storm—
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm—

I've heard it in the chillest land—
And on the strangest Sea—
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb—of Me.