In Memory of Birds

I heard an ornithologists say that all birds could become extinct very soon. I remain unsure of what he meant by “soon”, but in the event that he meant in our lifetimes, I have decided to briefly document three memories of birds.

They used to sit on fences and telephone lines. Just everywhere. Just like that. You might be walking down a sidewalk, entranced by your own selfish worries, when a sudden noise would set alight dozens of the winged witnesses, who had been sitting just above you, grasping sagging telephone wires, silently watching your human drama.

They would sing. Not sing like you and me, but with thousands of different rhythms and cadences. Sometimes we would be annoyed, lying in bed, moaning sick, trying to get some sweaty sleep, and the racket would simply be too much for us.

Of course they flew. High. Gently flapping wings made it look so easy. They had sleek strength and used it efficiently. Oh, we were jealous. Our early flying machines attempted to copy their style directly and literally, with embarrassing results.

Though we may lose the birds themselves, I will not forget my memories of birds. The way they swayed on bowing clotheslines in a gentle wind, the way they scratched out lonesome tunes, and the way they could leave us, in the blink of an eye, lifting themselves, higher and higher, to freedom.


Check out my last story, “You Do Not Have to Conquer Nature to Love It”, on Medium.