Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Peaceful Smile with Wings

Earlier today when I returned home from my early morning Yoga class, I discovered a bird  in perfect condition, lying dead in my driveway. It had a surreal appearance that caused me to stand and stare at this little form for several minutes. 

From my giant-like perspective, I could see it's eyes were closed, feathers unruffled, beak slightly parted. If birds could smile, I think the look on it's face would have definitely qualified.  At first I tried to figure out how this little creature met it's demise. There were no physical signs of fowl play. None of  the neighborhood cats were anywhere in the vicinity, high fiving each other for taking this sparrow down. 

It appeared to be a death due to natural causes. Maybe it was a heart attack, or old age. Since there was not a tree branch, which could have been a perch, hanging over this death scene, the cause will always be a mystery. 

As I mourned the death of this little creature, wondering if members of it's family were nearby planning a little bird memorial service, I was reminded how natural death is. When I moved beyond my own sadness for the bird's relatives and friends, I realized the deceased bird was at peace. There was no suffering, no resistance. . .only peace. 

I then decided to create a little funeral. I prepared a grave under the Mulberry tree and gently scooped the bird with a trowel and placed it in it's grave. As I said a little prayer, birds swooped overhead. I'd like to believe they were paying their respects. 

When this unexpected experience was complete, I went inside feeling very peaceful. It reminded me that when it comes time for me to leave this world, I also hope to have a peaceful smile and wings.