Sunday, January 09, 2011

Mercy, me

I live in a farmhouse, and part of the design is that windows are set low. This morning, a sparrow hit the window and fell to the porch. It didn't fly away, and I wasn't sure if its wing or its leg was broken. This sparrow was not some brilliantly exotic thing, with lush, surreal dreamscape plumage --just a gray sparrow, as gray as the autumn skies above on this Shabbat morning, this typical morning after a storm in VT.

This moved me to tears, this sight, what it seemed to signify. I have spent most of my life being told that somehow I feel too much, that I see things that aren't there. What I think is that we are given a thousand ways in this culture to not feel, to not pay attention, to not see at all.

Small, round and ordinary, and somehow, someone needed to try to save it, needed to keep it safe. Wrapped in a placemat, it was carried to a van, placed inside and the window left cracked. It may fly away, it may die, but this morning it is kept from the cat watching it with hungry eyes.

The morning. The bird. The decision to do something. I think this is what daily mercy is like, some small gesture, a chance to heal for the small, round ordinary soul, like me. Maybe like you, too.

by Lisa Alvarado © 2011