August 28, 2013 at 2:10 PM

Small Gifts

'For all you bird-lovers out there...'

By Liz Simon

Trips & Quips

Liz Simon is a photographer, writer and cyclist who likes to combine the three in her quest to discover the nooks and crannies of New Mexico. Sometimes, means of transportation other than bicycle are employed---including the Rail Runner and motorcycle.

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Here's a wee story that I think is worth relating. Wonderful gifts do come in small packages... I was sending what I hoped were comforting words, written in Medieval Latin, to a friend who seemed in need of them. I had no sooner finished writing part of the missive, the words: "In labore, requies" (In labor, rest) when the following happened... so here's an excerpt of my letter to her... for all you bird-lovers out there:

"It's strange, just as I had written "In labore, requies" above, I heard a bird-strike against the window in front of me. I went out and sure enough, there was a lovely chestnut and light brown little fellow lying panting on the ground beneath the window -- clearly "In labore."

As I do with all injured animals, I always ask their permission to approach and then ask their permission to offer help. The answer was "yes" to both. So I did, and gently scooped him up with both hands. I believe it was a male due to the brighter colorings and flashy design. I walked with him over to my porch, sat down, held him next to my sternum and said "In labore, requies." It seemed right. It also just so happened that that music was playing in the background. He was clearly "tuning in" on it as he began to recover... cocking his head around in its direction. Who knows?

I sat with him for about an hour, him half-perched on my finger, surrounded by my left hand and up against my chest. We looked at each other a little bit from time to time. Finally, as the hour was up, I looked at him and whispered, "Are you ready to fly?" The words were no sooner out of my mouth, than he took off in straight flight for the nearest Juniper tree... which, by the way, he smelled of.

As I sat there with him, the two of us together, just looking at the sky and the mountains beyond; the thought had gently floated into my mind, "Who's healing who here?"
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