Yesterday I created a post dedicated to all the little birdies out in the storm.
Today I recalled a poem my Great Aunt Ruth used to read to me all the time when I was small. It took me forever to remember what it was called. All I could remember was the line “And hide his head under his wing, poor thing!” I was thinking of this line when the little birds, mostly small robins, were starting to gather around my warm car in the parking lot yesterday. I wished I had brought some kind of food, like bread or crackers, not that it’s good for them, but I don’t carry bird seed and all the berries they were trying to eat were covered in ice. I supposed they just cracked the crystals like they do the hulls of the seeds they eat.
I long to hear my Aunt reading me those nursery rhymes again. She passed on when I was only seven, but I was blessed to live with her from the time I was born until the age of four. At that time, my parents began living in one of the farmhouses that was owned by my father’s step dad. I never called him grandfather and hardly knew the man. I didn’t know my paternal grandmother either. She didn’t have anything to do with us anymore than she did her son, my father. Which helped to create our perfect dysfunctional family.
But I digress. My sister and myself began to spend weekends with my Aunt and Grandmother after we moved way up to Richmond. They lived together in a bungalow in Detroit at the time. I loved that little house and it’s still standing today. I did a drive by and the neighborhood is still very well taken care of by all who still live there. Had a white picket fence, at the time, as well as berry bushes, an apple tree and a sour cherry tree that we kids used to love to climb and eat our fill in the late summer.
I have worried about birds in winter for as long as I can remember and sometimes would leave my garage door up during storms so they could go inside to keep dry. I thought about those words in the Nursery Rhyme about the “poor little robin.” I took it to heart and wondered sometimes when it was cold, how they could even stay alive out there, even in a nest. I think this is part of how humans are taught something called compassion. Something that many adults don’t have to pass on anymore. Hence the necessity for religious training that the modern liberal world mocks every chance they get.
The North Wind Doth Blow
(the way it was told to me)
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