While I was sitting this morning, Phoebe came and perched on the woodpile. She had a bug in her mouth. Phoebe seemed to doze for a moment, and I thought”What would happen if, in a doze, she didn't notice Hawk?” Then I thought, “Where is her mate? Is he dead?” Moments later, he showed up. I was relieved and noticed how much I loved them living on the East side of the cabin.
Later, as I opened the door to go pick Strawberries for breakfast, I startled Coopers Hawk. She flew from the ground up into the canopy. Not twenty feet to the North, on the dog run, Phoebe looked on. Had her mate just been killed? I walked down to where Hawk had been. There were small gray feathers scattered around in the grass. My heart sank. The other Phoebe flew away.
I walked up to the Strawberry patch to pick. I was not quite steady on my feet. In the moment it seemed that there were no more berries. “Has the time of Strawberries passed,” I thought? Then I began to see them. Still there. Still many. Why hadn't I see them moments before? “What else am I missing,” I though?
Once I'd picked enough berries for breakfast, I walked East to see if I could spot the surviving Phoebe. The Eastern deck came into view, and I saw one. I waited for the moment. Then I saw the second. Grateful, I though, “Not our Phoebes.”
The thought shuttered through me. “Not our Phoebes?” What about Hawk? What about the bug in Phoebe's mouth. Bug died. Phoebe died. Strawberries were picked. Then I started to see. Attachment to Phoebe had caused my heart to sink. More importantly, my attachment had distracted me from something larger. A friend of mine introduced me to a powerful image. It is the image of holding a frame and pulling it back, allowing more to become visible. I use this image to change my perspective. In a small frame the death of Phoebe is tragic. In a larger frame, Bug, Phoebe, Hawk, Strawberry, and I are all part of something miraculous. Something where death and life meld together into a sacred flow of purpose.
Today, I will be doing my best to hold that larger frame, though I want so much to return to the smaller more familiar one. The familiar one where Phoebe and her mate live forever on the back deck, and I watch them happily, choosing not to think about bug.