Tag Archives: fairy wren

When Wrens Grieve…

artwork by Wendy Slee

A little blue bird

Opens his heart and sings

Until the sky shatters

And pieces of blue fall to the earth.

 

 

He sings right up to the last moment.   Because for him, the moment is all there is.   It is immediate, it is present, it is now.  It is the breath upon your lips, the very life blood in your veins and the beat of your heart.

He opens his heart and channels his very soul out into the world.

That’s what blue birds do.   They give of their joy, without limitation, without fear, without expectation.   They just open up their hearts and immerse everything around them in pure celebration of the moment.

A little bird sings

A song that pierces my heart

And lets the blue within me fly free.

photo by wendy slee

When you stand close to a blue bird who is performing such a ritual, you can feel it – the vibrations of the song, and the energy that gives it such power, reverberates through you, and you cannot fail to be moved in some way, great or small.  You feel that song, that melody, that joy, push through you and light up your cells.   It is a celebration.  You resonate! That is the magic of the blue birds.   They lift vibrations, they sing frequencies that touch and heal and weave magic.

photo by Wendy Slee

It is a public display of life, of the pure, sweet being in the moment.

It is a reminder to each of us.

It is sweet, and sacred, and loud and undeniable.   Listen!   Feel!  Be!

A little blue bird

Gives my creativity wings

And my imagination explodes

With new colours to paint the world.

Yet there is more, so much more.   There is the moment tiny claws connect and wrap around your fingers, and something passes between you, something deeper than trust, something that you share with all life, but have long since forgotten.

So you awaken just a little more.

photo by Wendy Slee

Then you have the moment when across and open field a wild bird flies straight at you, with the sole intent of connecting, and landing on or near your person, then hops merrily up your arm to your shoulder, just to get a little closer.   There is humour, there is mischief, there is life.   You look in that bright eye, that misses nothing, the head cocked first one way, then another, and even more passes between you – a connection as ancient as life itself…. A recognition of shared existence and mutual honour for the Earth Mother who gave birth to us all.

Photo by Wendy slee

I always believed the winged ones were messengers, and this little blue bird, he came looking for me.  He had a message for me, a message he asked me to share with the world.  It just took me a while to “get it”.   I thought he was a gift, too amazing to be real, and at times, my fear of loss kept me stumbling around, even as I learned the only way to receive the gifts of the universe, is with an open hand, so they can fly freely.   And when I let go of any need to own or hold onto, he truly blessed me with wings of my own, so I could share the flight.  He showed me how to deal with loss a few weeks ago, and to let go of my fear.   In  bundle of little blue feathers, that had my heart scrabbling with pain, at first for him, and then, when he flew up to show me he was still there, for sadness at the anonymous little blue person who had died, he taught me that endings were always a part of the song, but only so a new melody could begin.  He delivered to me the lesson of cycles, of beginnings and endings, and the pure free flight between.   He gifted me an ongoing joy into my garden, both the literal one, and the true one within my soul.

He also came to say goodbye.

At first I laughed at my strange dream on Tuesday morning.   And wanted to forget and not share it.   But it was one of the prophetic dreams I have and recognize from time to time.  It unsettled me, and it’s message stayed, gaining depth and power instead of ebbing away.   It was a message of love.  This little blue bird, he sat with me and the message passed between us.   “I see you” he said wordlessly.   “I see you” my heart shared back to him.   Then he rubbed the top of his head back and forth on my lips, like a beloved pet would rub your hand or leg,  the most unusual kiss of a soulmate.

And was gone.

Artwork by Wendy Slee

I awoke thinking “how bizarre”.  But could not escape the surge of unconditional love that was all around me from that moment, and the awareness of which has remained firmly with me every since.
And I went out to face the day – a day where he was absent.
And then the next day – he was still missing.

And then the profound realization, that the dream had been a goodbye from my little friend, because this little blue bird has disappeared and now exists only in my heart, my dreams and my images.

Photo by Wendy Slee

Today they go on as if nothing has changed.  The landscape is full of life, and yet it has a hole in it.  My heart feels heavy because I know that something is missing.  There are other wrens alive and well singing in the trees around my home.   There is a family still there and a little blue son to keep the songline unbroken.

photo by Wendy Slee

How do blue wrens grieve?   No matter what happens, what loss they suffer, they just pick up the pieces of their life and rebuild their broken nest, go on with their day to day duties, and all the while, they sing.   Most of all – they SING!   They sing like there is no tomorrow and this very moment is the most joyful gift to be shared with the world.  They do not weep but declare their joy at being alive.    They pick up the pieces of a melody and stitch them together in a new way…. And … They sing.  If we could only sing like that when our hearts were broken!

photo by Wendy Slee

AS the days pass, I watch little Henny frantically rebuild her nest and her life, while nurturing her juvenile son on her own.   I wished there was more I could do to protect and assist her, but alas, within days, she too, tragically disappeared, with only a few feathers and a small broken blue egg left on the ground.   My heart was filled with sadness for the little bluey left behind, hiding in the branches, afraid, his life totally torn apart.   Yet even though he was very nervous and afraid, he would still hold onto the one constant thing he knew, and that was to fly to my hand and sit for a moment.  Perhaps he was oblivious, but I felt he sensed my grief and it matched his own bewilderment and uncertainty.

But within a day, I awoke to hear him singing his heart out as the sun arose.   When I went outside he was merrily dancing in the trees, entertaining a new girlfriend, both of them singing their song of life unfolding, of the mystery of goodbyes spelling new beginnings….
Life goes on….. and all that matters is the moment and how much love and song you can fill it with.

I can cry because it’s over, or I can laugh because it happened, or, I could do both.   Because you can’t have one without the other, you cannot know such joy unless sorrow carves a cavern in the darkness that will be backdrop to enhance the light, an amphitheatre to contain and measure the exquisite wonder of life’s grandest performances.

How can I truly appreciate and honour the presence and awareness of one’s gift to me, unless I experience the absence and subsequent emptiness without it also.

artwork by wendy slee

So I give thanks in these words, for the gift brought to me by a little blue bird.

A little blue bird

Cracks open a sad day

With a song that weaves

It back together anew.

   

For those who are interested….Blue Boy has his own facebook fan page at
https://www.facebook.com/BLUE.wrens

(my apologies for and please disregard any tacky advertising which appears on my blog pages)


Birthdays, Blue Birds and Kindness …

27th July 2011

I walk into the café this morning to bouquets of flowers on the shelves.   There is a birthday in the house!  And this is a very special birthday – Brenda’s 50th.   Yet it is as always, “business” as usual.  Brenda says she would not wish to spend her birthday anywhere else but here in the place that is such an expression of her own self.    Except we all know this place is not about business, but pure hospitality and the delivery of good things – service, food, conversation, comfort and even kindness.  

Let’s just think about the power of kindness because it is so important to me, and I believe tends to make a difference in the lives of both the giver and receiver.

There are many who pass through these rooms, or sit at these tables, who are here in some way to find comfort, whether in the form of a place to read the paper, share a meal with friends, or a quiet space to just indulge in the simple pleasure of a cup of tea or a slice of cake.   Several conversations this week have centred around the theme of how we all seem to put on brave faces, and muster up courage to hide away our pain and miseries behind smiles or even humour,  we work hard not to crack and let our supposed “weakness” (read “humanity”) show, and yet the quickest way through those walls or facades, is a simple act of kindness .  

How often have you been battling though some personal trauma, tragedy or stressful time, thinking you are coping very well, and then someone says a kind word, or offers you a small gift, or, in our case, Brenda delivers that hot drink, with a plate of cake and a single rose carefully placed on the napkin?   And the tears break free and fall?   I know only too well what that is like.

These past few weeks I have felt the weight of life’s sorrows upon those near and dear to me, with so many tragedies and difficult circumstances rising up to challenge them.   I have one friend who lost not only one beloved parent but both, a week apart.   I have another who is suffering from a terrible illness that causes great pain and there is no cure;  several other close friends have recently lost their life partners, including my younger sister, and yet another friend is struggling to break free of an abusive relationship and rescue herself and her children.  And that is just in my immediate circle, without even mentioning the world of friends I connect with online and whose own life stories are at times so poignant, heartbreaking, even tragic.   Even in my own life, I have my own share of hardships to deal with, not the least of which is a debilitating and very painful chronic illness  and a deep sense of isolation.   I know that these small moments of pleasure we allow ourselves, are the medicine our souls long for and when we give ourselves permission to take a break from the pain and sadness, and savour the tiny precious moments of what IS good in life, no matter how fleeting, then we open the door to healing and future happiness.    We all deserve this much!   And we must not wait for others to bring it to us on a plate, these are things we can give ourselves.

 

In my case, I won’t bore you with details of suffering, but suffice to say, no matter what kind of day I am having, even when I can barely walk at all, I only have to go outside into my garden and there awaits the best medicine anyone could ask for.   Not only do I have fresh air, wide open spaces and trees, nature and bird song, I have something particularly unique.  I live in the country, miles from main roads and with state forest all around.   In my garden, I have some wild fairy wrens (Blue Wrens) who have made their home here.   And who have, it seems, adopted ME, as their friend.

Now it is quite ironic for me, that as a photographer, I have spent years, stalking these brilliant little blue birds, struggling to get close enough for even one shot that wasn’t blurry, or that had the “tail end” of a bird flying from the frame, and I truly did despair of ever getting a good “blue wren” photo.

Then three years ago that all changed.   People who are familiar with Blue Wrens (or “Splendid Fairy Wrens”) will know that they can be very cheeky and friendly, especially if they get used to humans feeding them.   I have always chosen NOT to feed wild birds where I live as I am a cat lover and have always had several cats.   So over time, I noticed this one little male wren (it is the males of the species who get the brilliant blue plumage) who constantly hopped around my garden and flew up to land at my feet, or sat in the bush close to me, singing.   He was more friendly than any of the wrens I have ever seen around here, and so I called him “Blue Boy”  (yes, very original, I know) and proceeded to talk to him whenever I saw him.  As time went by, this little bird seemed to know I would not hurt him, and would fly up to my doorstep and call out to me, or fly in and land next to me when I was outside in the garden.  

Eventually my curiosity got the better of me, and I held out my hand and he flew in and sat on it, just very briefly, but “we had contact!”     The next time I saw him, I took out a few plain biscuit crumbs (low sugar) and offered him.  And he landed on my hand and ate, with his little claws gripping my finger, like the tiny hands of a child holding onto a parent.    I was rapt!

 

Over the past three years, this little bird has succeeded in introducing me to his mate “Henny Wrenny” and many of his babies.   At first Henny was very nervous and would not come close, but as time passed, she became very bold, especially at nesting time, and would knock him off my hand to come and have some treats!   Bossy little bird!    At times I have had this pair with up to three babies before me, entertaining and filling me with pure delight.

The little wrens are very watchful.   Even when they are eating, only two will eat, and one watches.   Then they alternate.   They watch the sky, for larger birds, who all seem to be a threat to these tiny avians (kookaburras, hawks, butcher birds and eagles are notorious predators), and they scan the ground for lizards and snakes, cats and dogs, and other threats.   They have different alarm calls for different animals and I have come to recognize most of them.   Their warning for a snake is the most intense and unmistakable.   They have warned me of a snake approaching my yard on a number of occasions.

 

When their babies first fly from the nest, they are quite helpless and clumsy.   One parent will stay with them and watch while the other flies for food.  It is a constant task to bring food to nestlings or fledglings, they are bottomless pits!   At times like this, the little parent birds love me offering a few crumbs, but I do not need to worry about harming their health with “human diet” as they never just eat biscuit crumbs, but stop and fetch a few bugs in between the crumbs, as if knowing a balance diet is good for them!   (Now if only to teach my kids the same thing!)

Knowing how watchful the wrens are, I have been touched by their deep trust in me.   One day while out photographing the babies, both parent birds disappeared, leaving me spying on the babies as they hopped and fluttered in a pile of branches.   This was very unusual as I know that only one parent bird would fly away at a time.   After quite a break, both “Blue” and “Henny” returned, with their feathers all wet, and proceeded to shake, flutter, and fluff on the fence rail.  They had been off for a bird bath while I babysat the little ones!!!  

It was so funny!  (and of course, their antics while grooming, were yet another source of amusement, especially when I could catch the action with my camera!)

 

 

 

 

 

So now I have as many blue wren photos as I can handle.  

Every day, my little blue friend greets me and sings his heart out for me.   It is the most precious gift, and so very healing.

So I give Brenda a blue wren image for her birthday –  This simple photo of a little blue bird, awakes a memory, a poem, and line by line, the words flowed, bringing with them a rush of feelings.  She smiles as she quotes Gerard Manley Hopkins “Spring” :

Spring

NOTHING is so beautiful as spring—

  When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
  Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
  The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
  The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.
 
What is all this juice and all this joy?
  A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden.—Have, get, before it cloy,
  Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
  Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.

So for my little blue bird – a connection to this poem, where Hopkins’ little thrush sing upon a background of sky – “descending blue;  that blue is all in a rush…”   which pretty much describes my own little friends in colour and character, if not in species.

 

And synchronicity being as it is, this poem was left at the Café for me during the week…

 

 

 

Pretty little blue wren

Cheeky as can be,

Hopping here and there,

Performing just for me.

 

I wonder if you realize

Just how cute you are,

With your vivid blue colours

Pretty as a flower.

 

You like to hide in bushes

And flit across the ground

And when you sing your happy song

It’s such a lovely sound.

 

A bird that’s so endearing,

Would be very hard to find.

When I think of Australian bush,

You are on my mind.

 

 

(I believe I can thank Rosalie for this gem.  Rosalie, you really summed up the character of the little fairy wrens and it made me smile, so thank you!)

 

 

 

I have a few more treasures from the table tops at the Café….

“Whatever it is,

It always looks better in the morning”

(A Schutts)

 

 

(I smiled reading this one, guess they have never seen me in the morning! LOL)

 

 

 

And this beautiful piece from Bec Larsen (Perth)…

Nightfall

Sweeping roads fade away into the darkness

Drunken Saturday night lights left behind

Soaked days of glutony, indulgence, lust,

Eat, Pray, Love, for the love of wine,

New experiences, spontaneous, new faces,

Winding bus dissects the countryside

Glass after glass after glass

To escape the reality.

 

Winding roads revisited,

Life begins again.

 

(Thank you Bec, this evokes so many images and memories for me, I feel the stories peeking through the lines of this one.   Smiles…)

 

 

I will close with another pearl of wisdom…

 

 

“It’s not your aptitude

But your attitude

That determines

Your altitude”

 

 

And so it is …