Monday, August 22, 2005

Another Moment of Grace

This child of nature was resting on a branch above the sweet lantanas.

She watched the wasps sip from the edges of the tree on which she was sitting, tilting her head as they flew past. As I crept closer with my camera, she alternated watching them with watching me.

Under those feathers is a body the size of the last joint of one of my fingers. So tiny, it has a fully developed digestive tract and blood vessels that carry nourishment and cleansing to every millimeter. The eyes can detect the smallest movement; the brain and nervous system compensate in flight for the gusty afternoon winds effortlessly.

This creature, with a body less than the size of a bite of hot dog, is beautiful. Even though its brain is the size of a pea (if that), no one would say that this creature is worthless, and ought to be torn apart and thrown out, not even if it was asleep, in the insensate sleep that birds are prone to.

Sorry, readers, I just look at the size, and how much people love to see hummingbirds, and wonder at a world that will abort human fetuses far larger than this bird, and say, "Oh, whatever it was, it wasn't really alive, anyway."

I don't want anyone to kill this bird, even if she's inconvenient, or not appreciated, or if there might be a drought next year and she won't have enough flowers. She is alive, and beautiful, and she watches the wasps and the flies, and that is enough to warrant living. She will never write a sonata, or discover the secret of sustainable fusion, or successfully market fuel-cell technology. But she doesn't deserve to have her life ended, even if all her days are spent as a bird-brain.

As Kris would say, "May peace prevail."

1 comment:

Kathy said...