The story of Red, and a poem–Soul of the Night

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On Friday February 21, 2014 I brought my daughter home from school due to illness at around 10:30 am. As I got her settled on the couch, ginger ale in hand with her tv show up and running, out of the corner of my eye I noticed a barn owl in my backyard. The owl (see above photo), a female, sat quiet, squinting her eyes. I assumed she was sleeping as it was day time. I felt blessed that she had made a presence and that maybe she felt comfortable being near us. To have this near perfect, mystical bird adorning our yard was almost dream like. I let her be, keeping my animals inside away from her.

As the day turned into night and she was still here, I began to wonder if something might be wrong. Then she fell over into our spa. I ran outside, gently scooped her up with a towel into my arms, and dried her off. I ran inside and got dry blankets, and a heating pad. I stacked the towels up, putting the heating pad underneath them on low, and ever so carefully set her down. I called a wildlife rehab center and they instructed me to bring her in the morning. I could see that her wing was bloodied from above. When I went back outside, she was breathing very slow and shallow. She attempted to spread her wings one last time, and let out a big breath, before her body relaxed and curled up. I hovered my hands above her body, prayed with all of my soul as her body began to stiffen. My tears flowed hard– she died by my side. We named her Red.

Her death surprised me and shook me up. If you know me, you know that I am a very passionate about nature. I believe that God brings you messages through his creatures. I could say to myself, “It was just a coincidence that she ended up in my backyard,” or “She just happen to land her after being injured.” I can’t do that–how horrible would life be if we went around telling ourselves these things? For me, I would shrivel up, or die of boredom.

No, instead I believe that she was here for a reason. A symbol of my life–all of our lives. I believe she was a messenger from God, and that she knew I would gently care for her during her last moments here on earth. Call me a crazy, I don’t care–but she was in my life (even though it was brief) for a reason.

Owls can navigate through the darkness, they are mysterious, spiritual, and strong. They are amazing parents, and masters at keeping pests at bay. In some cultures they represent major changes in your life, or the death of the way your life is presently. I am not scared of change, I welcome it, and I am honored that she landed in our yard. So honored that I felt compelled to write this poem:

Soul of the Night

She navigates through the darkness,

She persuades in the darkness,

She is most herself in the darkness,

I should have recognized your pain–I am familiar,

The torment you endured that light day,

Your grace and acceptance were so quiet-

I almost missed you calmly slipping away-

Your true essence fading into the arms of God,

Your wings are now one with the sky,

Is heaven lightless for you?

That shadowy place you call home?

The light of day is no place for you,

Your breath would continue, but your heart would fade away,

You are among the other mysterious beauties of the night-

Soaring and full of energy in your eternal kingdom of darkness,

Your power and symmetry are sorely missed here in the drudgery of earth,

Until we meet again wise soul,

My gratitude that you selected this as your last resting place will not be forgotten,

May your gallantry and dignity live within my heart for the rest of my days.

We have written poetry…

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We have drawn many pictures and written letters…

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We have made memorials, burned candles to remind us of your light, talked about where you are, and who you were. But the truth is, we still cry for the loss of you, weep that the world has changed in your absence, and long for you to come back and grace this earth with your power.

You are a symbol of any one of us, and the fragility of life–you mattered and you will be missed.

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m4s0n501
About Lisa

Mother of three children under 9, including a set of twins, and wife of US Navy Diver. I love to run, write, and laugh. Yes, I have a slightly raunchy and dark sense of humor..life can be so funny.. it's how I deal with it all.

Comments

  1. Oh my goodness. Wow…I don’t know what else to say. Beautiful poem from a beautiful heart for a beautiful bird.

  2. Oh Lisa. Your story and poem is beautiful and captures so much. I do believe that she landed in your backyard for a reason, drawn by your warmth and loving soul. xoxo

  3. You are an amazing person Lisa… that owl is fortunate, like you said, to have been taken care of by you in it’s final moments.

  4. Wow. Such a strange but beautiful event. I too believe in signs. She was in your backyard for a reason. And I think you were the exact thing she needed for her final moments.

  5. How blessed Red was to have you next to her as she took her last breaths. We have a resident owl that likes to hang out in our yard and we feel so fortunate that he chose our yard as his. Lovely poem and lovely post. <3

  6. So proud of you for trying to save her and yes, I also believe that everything happens for a reason. Love the poem!

  7. ((nothing to add. simply stunning))

  8. Yes, there for a reason for sure. Love.

  9. Just beautiful.

  10. What a strange (but extremely beautiful) event. Animals invoke a crazy passion inside of me and I really appreciate you for what you did and thanks for sharing!

  11. Such a moving poem, Lisa… what a powerful experience for you! You put it into words so eloquently. Your kids are lucky to see your passion and caring heart through this experience.

  12. Wow–what an experience and what a beautiful creature. I am definitely a believer that things like that happen for a reason and that you were there when the owl needed you by design. The poem is perfect.

  13. Beautiful. Just beautiful. xoxox

  14. Lisa I love your writing and your love for God’s creation. What a beautiful poem!! How blessed was this owl to have you looking after it in it’s final hours.

  15. Oh my, I’ve got way too many postpartum hormones to NOT cry at this. :( So sweet and sad but very moving. Glad you were there for the beautiful owl.

  16. I have no words other than I get it. Hugs to you. xo

  17. NO WORDS!!! This is just beautiful.

  18. Like many – no words – hugs!

  19. i totally think it was God. I think HE wanted to demonstrate how you are… always loving, there, and ready to scoop up the broken hearted (winged). You care with a FULL heart, no matter the creature. It is a gift. Your GOD given gift.

  20. I’m delinquent with reading my blog emails and often I just delete the older ones. I’m glad I read this one. It brought tears to my eyes. Red was lucky to have your love with her in her last moments.

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