I moved past the sting operation up to the light, sitting there as I usually do, this time thinking of those poor individuals who will face even more of a financial burden from these expensive tickets. Glancing down at the sidewalk to my left, I noticed a pigeon who seemed to be doing an odd dance around a small mass on the ground.
She would sometimes walk over the mass, or carefully prod it with her beak, and then occasionally puff up her breast feathers, appearing to want to sit on it, which quickly awakened my senses to the ritual before me. The small lump on the pavement was a tiny, lifeless, baby bird, its exposed bare rump partially covered with what appeared to be a miniature wing… the first feathers beginning to grow from the perfect, little form.
My heart sank a bit, saddened by her desperate attempt to mother this unfortunate little soul. Falling from a nest built high under those giant, grid-rafters that support the freeway above, could only end the life of such a small thing.
The light changed, and I had to pull away. In that brief moment I was left with the image of a mother trying to give what she could to her small baby so far from the nest. I tell myself that however a pigeon may grieve, she does so quickly and returns to nourish her other fledglings. Even though there is no shortage of pigeons, and some even consider them a nuisance, I am gently nudged by my sense of compassion, wonder, and the reminder of our own vulnerability.
Days later the metaphor still played upon my thoughts... how we nurture a thing, an idea, a project, a relationship, but sometimes what we create falls from the nest. We go through our grieving, our sense of failure, or even guilt, but one must get back to the nest, where other new life waits for us with all of its promise to flourish.