Monday, October 28, 2013
Two mysterious bird shadows strutted behind the gate in the dark when I drove home from work a few weeks ago. They didn’t look like our chickens, who would have been safe in their backyard coop at that hour. Lost quail, maybe? When I flipped on the light, they were roosting on the back steps and skittered away with unmistakably yellow chicken legs--two beautiful black and white Wynedotte pullets, peeping in confusion, still too young to cluck. They had apparently been abandoned in our front yard, and the neighbor put them in back, thinking they were ours.
What serendipity, new life left on our doorstep! We made feeble efforts to find the owners, knowing we would keep the birds. They made us laugh with their lopsided sprints across the grass, the first to arrive when any snacks appeared. They did everything as a pair, chortling to each other like an old married couple—Tweedledum and Tweedledee, Dum and Dee for short.
We delighted in their innocence. They reminded us of when our hens were young a year ago, when our boy was still alive and we were innocent of grief. New life that knew nothing of Noah’s death.
I felt the same when I was handed a five-month-old baby to hold the other day. Our eyes locked, I started to sing and bounce him, and he melted into a smile. You are new and pure, I thought; you weren’t yet born when my baby died seven months ago. I breathed in the sweetness of a fresh lease on life.
What Noah broke; what we, left behind, will need.