I springboard to loving remembrances of my grandmother caring for her colorful parakeets. I would run to her kitchen where the cage was perched next to the window looking out the promenade lined by huge Plane trees. The indigo, yellow and chartreuse birds would chirp my arrival and I felt special to feed them because they were her babies.
One summer I found the birdcage missing. She anticipated my fear, took my hand and led me to the formal dining room – no cage there either. Then out of a drawer from the china hutch, she pulled out a biscuit canister and unveiled each of her preserved birds wrapped in red velour pouches. Her babies were still bright beautiful but lifeless. Her generous eyes met mine, she placed one into my hands and softly said, “one day we must die too.” Together we returned the birds into the canister and off we went to the marketplace to buy food for our supper.
This is one of many important lessons my dear Mame Jeanne taught me. To this day, I hold dear numerous experiences of birds approaching me.
…honoring her holy transition 45 years ago…