C: Warrior for the Good
At the risk of waxing sentimental and, to some extent tooting my own horn, I am moved today by the concept of mothering. As I write this, California remains on fire. Not only are houses destroyed, but people are losing their lives, some of them firefighters who have volunteered, knowing the great risk they face.
As I have prayed about this disaster, my heart has turned toward the animals of the burning forests. We will never know how many have lost their lives in horrible ways.
On Facebook yesterday someone posted this photograph by a fireman who was moving through a burned-over area. It is a picture of a bird’s nest with a clutch of eggs still there intact. Next to them is the body of their mother.
Instantly it hits one that the mother bird could simply have sailed off, over the fire, to find safety.
But she did not. She would not abandon her babies—still in their shells—to the disaster. She stood with them, helpless against the flames, but loyal to the very end. She must have known that she was facing a losing battle, but she would not leave her babies to face it alone.
In my work I see so, so many mothers who battle seemingly insurmountable challenges. I see single mothers who work their fingers to the bone at multiple jobs just so that their child can have something he/she needs. I see mothers who sacrifice their own down time to sit on bleachers or haul kids to practice—mothers who desperately need their own emotional outlets, but waiting until the day their child does not need them so much, putting off their own emotional needs until that day when Mom can have some fun without expense to her children.
This lifeless mother bird, still hovering for comfort of her also-gone children, just magnified the qualities I see in so many mothers. This bird is a heroine in danger of being unsung--like so many mothers out there. I want her memory to stay. I feel compelled to write about her.
I believe this mother never considered the option, so available to her, to abandon. I just don't know what else to say about this. I have named her "Warrior for the Good," and I deem her victorious.
Rest in peace, Heroine Bird Mother.