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Dead Things

If you have a strong stomach and are as interested in the process of life (and death) as I am, then I will encourage you to continue reading this post until you get to the bottom where you will find the latest lovely in my collection.

If you do not have a strong stomach and have no interest in what the process of a body’s return to the earth looks like, then please, please, PLEASE do not keep reading.  Instead, why don’t you look at some pretty pictures of unicorns? Cupcakes? Babies smiling? Do ANYTHING but DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER. Leave this webpage now!

It’s not gory or anything. It’s a photo of a baby bird who fell out of his nest and died. But he’s a few days dead and a little dried out. I think he’s beautiful.  My heart breaks for him whenever I walk past him (he’s been in the carport for days). I wish I could scoop him up and breathe life back into him. But I can’t. So I take a picture instead. Because even in death, he is a beautiful part of creation. He reminds me of my own mortality, reminds me to treasure every moment, this moment right now because in an instant it could all be over. One minute we’re here, the next we’re gone. But we’re never gone. Even when our bodies have rotted away to nothing, or we’ve been burned into a million bits of ash and tossed by our loved ones into the wind, we are still here. The molecules of our being, our bacteria, the dust of our bones.

Someone asked me the other day if I believe in God and I didn’t know what to say because I don’t believe in the God that I was taught about in Sunday school – the one who judges and scorns and throws non-believers into the fiery pits of hell along with the rapists and murderers. I don’t know what I believe in. But in studying these little dead creatures, seeing that even in their death they are part of the circle of life, I am reassured that there is a higher power, whatever or whoever it may be, and that we are a part of something bigger and more incredible than we can possibly imagine. We just don’t know what it is.

And now, a dead baby bird:

poor little thing


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  • So I have an owl pellet that I have not “dissected” (it is a remnant from a biology class).  I was thinking it might be something you would like and possibly sending it to you.

    • Do you mean owl pellet as in owl scat? As in, you dissect it to see if there are any rodent bones inside? Because I would definitely like that. I was just saying to Mike that the next time we hike I should bring a plastic bag to collect the coyote scat we find so that I can dissect it for bones. OMG I love that kind of thing.

      • It’s like the equivalent of a hairball.  The owl spits up all the fur and bones after each meal, so you can be sure to find a little rodent skeleton almost fully intact.

        • I would buy it from you.

          • You don’t have to buy it silly, just tell me where to send it.

            • Yayay! I need your email address. Or no! I will send you a facebook message. 😀

  • Tara

    He has a kind of Lovely that’s all his own….