Dark Birdsong

Took a solo, contemplative bike ride this morning.  Delighted by the fact that my jacket matched the color of the little pitty shitty green buds that barf from maple trees this time of year.  With just a spit of rain they can turn greasy but early this morning they were fluffy and swirly like yesterday’s hair I didn’t bother to braid.

Loud birds woke me up as it neared 5am today.  Still pitch black out but almost cartoon loud.  It’s an odd thing, birdsong in darkness.  If you’re startled and confused, like anyone is before dawn on a Sunday, you listen for the reason you are awake. Like your emotional butler has his ear pressed to your bedroom door waiting to hear you stir so he can come in and tell you why.

Of course, was thinking about my Mom as I rode.   Yes, while wearing my helmet, with a bright light on back and the equivalent of money for the payphone…an actual phone.  Her sending me cutout newspaper articles about injured cyclists in the mail with “Be cautious!” and “Wear your helmet!” written on scrap pieces of unlined paper, like threatening ransom notes, worked.

Not having a Mom on Mother’s Day is a bummer.  Even after 17 years.  It lands and settles, usually in the morning.  Sadness woken up by stupid birds.  The moment I found out she was going to die, I bolted to the unlit hospital parking lot, sat on a log and started asking questions. What now?  What do I do?  How am I supposed to do this?  To the darkness. Bloody birds answered me.

Can you even understand how freaky it is to have a bird answer a question in the middle of a still night?  It’s not normal. But then again, neither is losing your Mom on Mother’s Day.  What I suspected that day, that this notion of Motherhood would never be for me, was incorrect.

Perhaps it’s from the intensely short and concentrated time that I had with her that has me super tuned to that magic.  It has me.  I recognized it the moment I set eyes on my three incredible step-kids. How I can see it radiate from my niece in how she raises her two boys.  Understanding the parts of my sisters that came from having extraordinary children grow up to be awesome humans.  The Mama Bear strength I can see from the Mom’s I know that have lost their children.  The fierce AF determination of the friend who quit drinking completely because she saw disappointment creeping into her children’s eyes.  And this woman has reason to drink, believe me.

It’s ferocious.  This motherhood thing.  This witchy essence I see so often.  And feel so often.

It’s intoxicating.  You get a little glimpse of it playing Barbie when you’re wee.  Or having your first helpless kitten, whose survival is your responsibility, placed in your care. Or a jam jar full of tadpoles in my case.  For frog study.   But the real deal human children stuff is like wow man.  Like dry macaroni, sparkle glue, construction paper card wow.  Get some.


3 thoughts on “Dark Birdsong

  1. Well said Ms Anna , a Life way too short but obviously well lived hearing the Legacy She left , I am sure She is always cl close by , whispering in your ear & smiling at the wonderful daughter She gave the World

  2. “What I suspected that day, that this notion of Motherhood would never be for me, was incorrect.”

    Perfect summary of a lovely piece. Thanks, Anna.

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