[saymaListserv] Fw: Sharing a Sept. 11 story

Peggy Bonnington bonnipeg at bellsouth.net
Tue Sep 18 22:56:33 JEST 2001

OK,  time for a bird story I've promised  ~ all my other email is too heavy to deal with right now.

On the evening of September 12th, Stuart and I went out into my outdoor studio (our carport) ~ basically to get away from the house and the horrific television images and news, almost overpowering.  Being in the clear outdoor air with no human or mechanical sound was such a relief.  We took our wine / happy hour, and I nipped china plates into tile-size bits for later mosaic work, while Stuart and Quincy sat close by.  Stuart and I were talking quietly about events, while Quincy lay on the concrete floor between us, bathing as complacently as cats will do, even in the biggest crisis.

Earlier in the season, a Carolina wren had attempted to nest in the studio.  I had witnessed the occasional bird flitting in among my hanging pots and cups and assorted junk, without ever fully determining the location of the nest.  About a week earlier, when I took down a plastic bucket from a nail to use during a project of making concrete stepping stones, I realized that the mass of straw and debris in the bucket meant that had been the nest.  But it was empty, so I unceremoniously dumped the debris, filled it with water, and continued my art project.  This may have nothing to do with the story, because there was never a "fuss" made, as Carolina wrens are wont to do when distressed.

However, on this evening of perhaps the worst tragedy our generation has known, as we sat sobered and saddened in the dusk of evening, this wren flew to the outskirts of the studio and first lit across the way from us at the most distant edge of the carport.  Oddly, it did not fuss the loud protest chatter wrens are wont to do in the presence of cats ~ although Quincy was quite visibly present.  The wren flew around without making a sound, from this perch to that, here and there above and about us, until finally entering a small china cup hanging directly over my head.  We looked up; the cup swung slightly from the recent "lighting."  Occasionally the bird peeked out and down at the three of us, but never with the hint of distress, the slightest sound of discontent.  The four of us sat in this close proximity for about 10 or 15 minutes ~ Stuart, myself nipping china tiles, Quincy bathing, and the wren quietly peering out of the cup. We talked quietly; the wren was still in the cup when we turned out lights and went inside.

Later, I realized that there wasn't a nest in the cup.  I checked the next day to discover that it was completely empty, without a shred of nesting material.  It began to seem to me that the bird also had felt a need for closeness and companionship on that terrible evening ~ even companionship that included a cat ~ as if the pain loosed upon our world that day vibrated at the the most basic cosmic level felt by creatures of all kinds everywhere.

Somehow this story is comforting to me; I hope others enjoy it.


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