Yesterday I was mowing a lawn when I came across a bird nest that had blown out of a tree. About a foot from the nest I came across the former inhabitants, two dead fledglings. The birds were speckled grey, probably robins, and looked like they were getting big enough to soon leave the nest. I am sure the high winds we had the other day destroyed their home and their lives.
I dug a hole and buried them side by side with two dandelions for color and beauty. I know they are dead and it makes no difference if I throw them in the trash can or give them an unmarked grave, but it makes me feel better to honor them a little. It gives me time to remember death, always around the corner, always waiting.
I think of the time birds put into making a nest and hatching eggs, the drive to procreate, the need all life has to reproduce. This is what life is, a need to continue. Then I think of the burdens we all carry, each of us with our own stories, our own victories and failures, and I decide to try to be just a little kinder and a little less judgmental. Maybe if I learn something from the little birds their short lives will have meant something.