Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Blue Bird

I was only visiting the family. For the first time. I knew nothing of them, and they knew nothing of me. But from  the very first moment I was there, I was accepted and shown everything as if that was the most normal thing to do. Their small house was in a suburban settlement area with small gardens around them, all flat. No hills or slopes. The first impression was all green. It was just after lunchtime and hot outside. 

I had arrived a few moments ago. Before I had the time for a good look around, I was asked in by a girl about my size. She acted as if she had been expecting me and knew me. But to me, it was as if I was seeing her the first time. And oddly enough at the same time as if we had been friends for some time already and knew each other well. As if I was visiting a friend from school or a similar place for the first time. 

The mother was sitting at a small table practicing some soldering. It was tedious work and it did not turn out well. I asked the mother why she hadn't simply pulled the wires apart a little bit more so it would have been easier for her to do the soldering. She told me that indeed it would be easier for this piece of work here. But for the actually big work she was practicing this technique it would not work out well. She explained a few more things about it, but I did not understand this technical talk at all. I just smiled and kept on watching.

Then her son came in. I saw him for the first time now, but to me it was as if I had seen him before and we acted as if we were brother and sister. He casually greeted me, walked over to his mother, watched for a moment and then just took the tools out of her hand and did the work perfect. It was as if he had always done this kind of work. His mother was astonished by his ability. And then sent him off with the father of the family to a church like place where there was this kind of soldering to be done at some bells. At least that was what I understood by the few words they exchanged to get them started.

I helped them get all the material into the car. Quite a few boxes and some were very heavy. For a moment I feared they would not all fit. But then we were done and the men drove off. The mother went back inside to clean up the table. The girl and me stayed outside. There was a light breeze now, the air not so hot. And some faint bird song to be heard too. To me it was all as I would expect it in such an area. However, I couldn't recall ever having been here or some place similar before. So different from home and yet - it felt so familiar like home. 

Slowly it grew dusk and we saw some lights in the sky, moving rather fast and then suddenly disappear. The girl casually mentioned that it was a UFO. A common sight. I frowned at that, but didn't remark anything. I had recognized the lights in the sky as a the blinking lights of an airplane that was making a sharp turn and thus suddenly vanished from sight.

As it grew darker I noticed some more lights in the sky. It looked like tiny stars to me. And a tiny galaxy made out of red, blue, green and even white dots! As I stared longer into the direction of the lights I realized that they were not far off in the sky, but close by. Hanging from a tree, partly hidden by the green leaves and many twigs. The girl noticed were I was looking and blushing explained that those were Christmas lights that they had forgotten to take down after the festivities and then later left them on purpose because they looked so nice. 

And it was from this tree that I heard the bird song coming. Well, sometimes it was a bird, then some phone ringing and once I even thought it was an engine roaring to a start and then coming to a screeching stop. 
The girl walked closer to the tree and stretched out her hand. To my surprise the bird song stopped for a moment an then turned to a cheery chit chat. As if it was talking.

The girl stepped closer to the tree and a bird hopped onto her shoulder, rubbing it's head to her face. I must have stood there with open mouth as the girl turned toward me and just smiled and cuddled more with the bird. Then she placed her hand close to its feet and it hopped on. She held it out to me and I gingerly patted the back of the bird. To my surprise it purred and then called out: "Pizza!" And then fluttered back on the tree, sitting on  a low branch with cocked head, waiting. 

She rushed inside to get a piece of leftover pizza crust. I had the time to study the bird more closely as it chirped it's odd song. Feathers were a sky blue, darker on the wings with rose and pink colored head and throat. A very long and thin beak. Thin, nearly to short legs and a funny looking plumage on the head. It looked a bit like a punk bird this way. And a darker blue tail that it could hold very straight upright but also spread out like a peacock. It did that only once though as if to show off. It's more natural position was the upright one. I tried to compare it to birds I had seen before and knew from photos. I couldn't. It had features from all sorts of birds but not all matching to just one. 

While the bird gladly nibbled on the pizza crust, holding it up with one foot, the girl, after it had returned with the crust and the bird had fluttered over to get it from her outstretched hand, told me the story of how she first met this bird. Right at the bottom of this tree, sitting next to two haphazard heaps in blue and pink like itself  and all depressed. Those heaps had been it's baby birds. They were not laying eggs like other birds but live-birthing. The girl had felt sorry for it and had promised to help, picking it up and sitting on the highest branch of the tree it could reach so it was safe from any cats or other bird predators. 

Then, as the bird had finished the crust and was back to chirping and singing and making all sorts of funny noises, she pointed to the side of the bird. There was a bulge. A new baby bird developing that would be born soon. She promised again to the bird that she will continue to take good care of it, and the baby once it is born. The bird once again hopped my her shoulder, rubbed it's head on her face and then fluttered to a branch at the top of the tree, singing a beautiful night song. 

Yes, it was all dark now, only the lights in the tree shining and the air becoming very cold. We both went back inside to a nice smelling and superb tasting evening meal. After the table was cleared, I took a piece of paper and some colored pencils and made a drawing of the bird before I went to bed. Maybe tomorrow I could take a photo with my camera in daylight.

When I woke, I was not at the house of the family anymore. I was back "home" - at least it looked and felt that it was my home. I was not sure of this at all. It was as if I had been only dreaming. But, I had the paper with the drawing in my hands. A piece of paper I did not have here. And there also were no colored pencil anywhere in this place. I checked thoroughly. I had been some place else the day before - the drawing was my only proof.