Rare Bird

There is nothing left to do but write. I hear my orange clock ticking across the room and the watches tick in my drawer and tick on my wrist too. What is there to do on a solitary Friday night? Countless things, but this is the only one that seems right. So I write.

Imagine if snow so white were falling outside, imagine how silent that would be. Snow falls inside me and I can’t see it because the curtains are pulled tightly. I can’t hear it because it sings a silent song. But I know it falls and I know it’s cold. It covers all the dead red leaves left from Autumn under a clean blanket until next year.

And the winter’s so long.

I saw some daffodils sprouting in my mother’s garden today. Their hidden yellow lips whispered in the wind, “Spring is coming.” I worried they might freeze before they get a chance to bloom, so I took a picture of them just the way they were–uneven, awkward, and green in the midst of a whole lot of gray and brown and cold.

Those moments holding hands on the swing set were bliss, sunshine all around. One boy, only two years old, fertilizes joy seeds in my heart’s garden.

Later when it was bedtime for Avi Monk, I read him a story about a rare and beautiful bird. A family of elephants went in search of her, this bird. When they found her they took a picture. Then, she became afraid and flew away.

It was bedtime, but Monk didn’t want to sleep just yet. He tried to escape the room, so upset and exhausted. As soon as I took him in my arms he was content. “You’re my Susanne,” he said. And he laid his sleepy head on my chest and I laid my hand on his head and prayed to Jesus that no evil would ever touch him. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me.” And my heart was soft and I spilled hot tears into my nephew’s hair while he drifted off to sleep.

Sometimes I feel just like a rare and beautiful lost bird. It seems so strange to have a family of elephants taking my picture.


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