This may sound silly, but I wanted to share this story.
Yesterday, I was driving slowly near my house and heard a “thunk” against the car. I was talking on speaker phone at the time, and didn’t think I was distracted, but I honestly didn’t see what it was or where it came from.
I parked and walked back to the spot hoping it was a pine cone that had flipped up, and not what I was fearing.
But, there he was, a tiny little brown bird, eyes closed, feet straight out, not moving. Mercifully, I suppose he died immediately. I took a pine branch to sweep him off the road so he wouldn’t be squashed by cars, and he was still so soft that each rotation of his small body made my stomach lurch in connection to how recently he had been living. Such a beautiful day, Spring just beginning, and it was all over for him.
I made an internal vow that I would not use speaker phone any more (which I don’t do with kids in the car anyway). Not sure if it would have made a difference, but more attention on the road is always good, and made me feel like his life did mean something.
Each life does matter, and you may think I am over-dramatic, but I don’t want to be responsible for death. Yes, I know these things happen, even in harvesting vegetables, but we can do what we can to prevent as many as possible. It made the connection for me again that I don’t like to see small birds die, so I also don’t want to be responsible for killing the birds that I can’t see. If I eat eggs or chicken, someone else is killing that bird for me.
Later, I walked back to where I left him, near the curb, and he was gone. I would like to believe (and hope) that he had just been stunned, and woke up later. In any case, I learned something from that bird, and he strengthened my compassion.