Being Nudged

Kaye Wright, Victoria Regional Meeting

It was an ordinary work day.  I had to hurry to get ready to leave home but there was a whisper to send a card to a friend.  I put it to one side, as I had things to do, but I didn’t let go of it altogether.

For most of my life, I have ignored these gentle and subtle nudges.  They are so easy to ignore!  But experience has taught me that there is nothing more worthwhile I can do with my life than follow these nudges.  I know these nudges come from Spirit and I feel honoured to occasionally receive them.

I write the card, get in my car and arrive at my local post box.  My friend is very, very ill in an aged care facility.  Perhaps this is the last card she will receive before she passes.

My friend loves butterflies.  She believes when she passes from this realm, she will transform into a butterfly and fly into the spirit realm.  I sometimes visualise this for her.  I hope it comes to pass.  I believe it will one day… 

As I post the card, my attention is drawn to two birds in the communal driveway opposite.  One bird (a Mud Lark) is dancing around in a small circle in an agitated way.  The other Lark is squashed dead on the road.  In an instant I know why I am here and it has nothing to do with my friend. 

I look at my watch, “have I got time for this?”.  I know this is only a token gesture on my part, of course I will do what is in my mind and heart.  I quickly go to the boot of my car and take out a piece of cardboard and an old shopping bag.  I cross the busy road carefully.

I reach the dead bird.  I study it with sadness.  It must have been a very quick way for it to die and I am grateful for this.  I bow my head slightly and pray for her or him.  I thank them for their contribution to life and say how sorry I am that they died violently and because of us.  I wish them peace.

The dead bird’s partner is watching me from a safe distance (about 25 metres).  I then turn to them, bow and say how sorry I am that their partner has died and that I will bury them with honour.  My spirit is reaching out and ‘talking’ to their spirit.  This is a very special and powerful form of communication.  I know this works but that is the subject of another story…

As I bow my head and hold my hands in prayer, I wonder how I look to motorists and pedestrians passing by.  For a few seconds, I’m embarrassed by my prayerful posture but then I think this same posture of peace and communion with Spirit has been practised by humans for thousands of years.  There is nothing to be embarrassed about.

I return home from work and park my car.   I retrieve the shopping bag, take it to my back yard and with care and honour, bury the dead bird.  I put some wild, yellow weed flowers on top of the body because it was a wild bird and that seems right.  Then I put a bract of bright purple sage (for bravery) on top.  I pray for the bird once more.  I pray that its partner will be okay.  I know that tonight will be the first night they will roost alone. 

You might never think of this but where do all the elderly and sick birds go to die?  I read somewhere or perhaps a wildlife carer told me, that wild creatures go deep into the bush or wild vegetation to find a quiet refuge to die in peace.  They die in the embrace of our common mother, Mother Earth.  Our domestic cats will try to do the same thing at the end of their lives (if we stand out of the way).  It makes me wonder if humans did this too, many thousands of years ago.  But perhaps this helps explain the possible agony of the partner of road kill.  They can see their partner on the road, prematurely dead and very exposed and can do nothing about it.  That’s where some of us can step in.   

You know, when I picked up that bird with the bit of cardboard, it weighed next to nothing!  They are truly ethereal creatures and we are blessed to have them in our world and daily lives.

There is so much human created chaos and grief going on e.g. our current wars.  Why would I bother with a dead bird?  I bothered because I was nudged.  I bothered because it matters.  All of life deserves to be honoured and cared for.  


A shorter version of this article appeared in Streamlines.


Photo: Rhonda Hansch, Canberra Ornithologists Group

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1 Comment

  1. Stephen Hodgkin

    That’s beautiful, Kaye — thank you. I’ll remember.


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