We have lived in this home for almost 20 years. Morgan came to this house as a babe in arms and learned how to walk here with her soft baby feet, tip toeing around.
In the considerable span of our occupation we have had only a few episodes of bird interaction. I think I can remember two or three times a small sparrow got through the door to our screened deck and had to be redirected back to the doorway and freedom. That is really about it for the bird contact here. I do put out seed for the pleasure of watching the birds eat and realize, as I do, the decadence of the ritual as human beings in Zambia would be most pleased to have the sustenance of this throw away food.
That has been the extent of my interaction with birds here; I feed, I watch with pleasure as they eat, (in truth the squirrels mostly eat but they are beautiful and worth watching also). About two months ago, it started happening – bird strikes, frequent and relentless! Mourning doves slamming into the windows of the house; pressed on the glass over my kitchen sink is the imprint of a cushioned downey bird’s breast and outstretched wings. – an otherworldly Rorschach of desperation.
At first I felt uneasy that it happened so much; birds pelting the house with their bodies. I would buff off the eerie smudges their impact left from every window. I never find any bodies under the window point of contact but our house is festooned by the marks. Our living room window has the 2 4 1 dots on it in reflective discs; five bird strikes prints circle the 2 4 1 emblem.
This phenomenon was disturbing to me until a wise friend explained, “of course it is happening and no, it is not Morgan at the window crashing into the glass seeking re-entry, but it is a type of Morgan energy still present and reactive. You cannot stop yourself from the heart cry of searching and pleading you put out as Morgan’s parents any more than the birds can stop themselves from responding. The visceral gut level screeching summons you emanate must be answered by the universe in some way.”
I see bird strikes. I understand and am grateful but wish instead that the very rocks and tress would rise up and move to spit out the abomination, poison, of a monster who wrung the life from our golden bird, Morgan Dana Harrington
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