This photograph reminds me of one of my favorite poems. It is something to think about anytime you get caught up in the mainstream guilt of never doing quite enough in your life or in this world. This poem really says it all in the grand scheme of things. I never realized this as I “accidentally” leaned my homemade trellis against my garage one day when storm clouds came into view, planning to finish it later. It had a very convenient overhang that kept all these little ones dry in the storm. I looked out to see them all sitting there and took this shot with my telephoto from my house. Unusual enough to make me dig out the camera for this shot and I felt happy for them that I did this. I ended up leaving it here for the summer.
If I Can Stop One Heart From Breaking
by Emily Dickinson
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin unto it’s nest again,
I shall not live in vain.
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)
The north wind doth blow and we shall have snow
and what will the robin do then, poor thing?!
He’ll sit in the barn and keep himself warm
and hide his head under his wing, poor thing!
Scene from frozen this morning after an ice and snow storm. More due tomorrow.
The poor little birds were still eating the ice-covered berries in the trees.
There was virtually no one outside today and so the birds were very active and hungry after waiting out the storm.
Enjoy the diversity of my photo display!