Yesterday, I walked to the YMCA for a yoga class. There is a park system that loops through the entirety of the subdivision, connecting play parks with grassy sidewalks in a network that is miles and miles and miles long (and people still jog on the street…not sure I get that). It was an excellent yoga class; it always seems to me that yoga nets about 10x what it should, and I was in a softly blissed state as I walked home. I happened to glimpse a blue jay flashing through the trees, and stopped to admire him, taking it as a nice little gift from the universe–"here, have a visit with your favorite bird", and saw there was a pair of them. And then I saw their baby who had been shoved out of the nest and was none too happy about it. Parent one nudged him along and the baby squawked, fluttered his wings and protested–"I can’t, I can’t!"–before lifting off maybe a foot and slamming into the fence.
I watched him for twenty minutes or so, following behind at a respectful distance, which wasn’t all that
much, maybe four feet. I was prepared to chase away a predatory cat or raven, but wouldn’t have interfered in any other way. He panted in the shade, then made another try, flapping his wings until he nearly captured the low hanging branch of a pine. And missed.
That’s when I left him to the business of learning to fly. But what a lovely gift for the girls in the basement–all those fluttering feathers; those flashing sapphires and turquoises and grays; all that effort and metaphor, the reassurance that baby birds, small and defenseless and vulnerable as they are, do mostly manage to figure it out, launch themselves and grow up into big blue jays.