Yesterday morning I had blood on my hands. Again. It wasn't my own. It belonged to the yellow-shafted flicker I lifted off the pavement in the first stages of my journey into work. I thought the flicker was dead when I approached it. It lay on its side, one brown eye staring at the sky. But its head moved as I lifted it. I immediately started talking quietly as I carried it to the roadside. I squatted on the grass, shielding it from the wind of the passing vehicles. The flicker was injured beyond repair, but its heart kept beating beneath my fingers. It held on and it suffered. I cradled it and I talked.
I told the flicker how beautiful it was and that is was one of my favorite birds. I thanked it for being an important messenger. I told it every time I saw one of its kind I knew the healing energy of Love was at play in my life and any intensely felt emotions were cleansing me of all that might stand in my way of that Love. I told it that Angels of Mercy were here at the roadside, ready to usher it home. And still its heart beat on.
I quietly implored it to please just let go. Let go, let go, let go. There was no need to stay, no need to suffer, just let go and fly free. Fly free in lands more beautiful than this. But it stayed. Bleeding into my hands, moving its head, ignoring my pleas.
I searched for a soft, sheltered spot to lay it down, and let its own will be done. I chose a tree next to tall grass and laid it at the edge. I folded a large leaf and placed it under its head, hoping it would comfort. I whispered, "Don't stay long. They're waiting for you. Let go, let go let go."
I drove on with red-stained hands. 20 minutes later, just as I arrived at work, a single white balloon slowly drifted skyward in the west. I stood and watched the balloon until it was out of my sight. The flicker whispered in my ear, "I'm flying again. I'm free. And Graciel, let go, let go, let go".