Why did she abandon you?
Was it because she didn’t love you?
Does she even know what love is?
Was it an act of nature?
Did even the gods conspire against you?
Was it a cruel trick of fate…
which neither men nor gods can understand?
Why was it that you were ordained to die a slow death,
wishing for it to come quickly?
Or did you? Maybe you just existed,
and none of this even happened to you.
Maybe it only happened to me,
because I was your witness…
who gave you release,
along with a piece of my self, too.
I wrote this after I had discovered that a mama hummingbird had abandoned her chicks. Chicks that I watched her sit on and hatch. Chicks that I watched her keep warm and feed.
Then one day it occurred to me that I had not seen her flying in and around the nest lately. I went to look in on the chicks. One of them was dead. The older, stronger of the two was still alive, barely. The poor thing was nearly dead. My heart wrenched. What happened? Why did she abandon them?
It troubled me. I had to revisit my own judgments and resentments about my own mother, who…although she was physically present, had abandoned us children emotionally. She went through the motions of doing the things a mother does, like feeding us, bathing us, making sure we had clothes and did our homework. But she was an empty shell.
Granted, this is not as bad as some have had it, and not as good as others have had it. All issues are personal and cannot be compared. I suppose not having a “real” mother is why I gravitated to the Divine Mother in her many manifestations. I need to have the hope that there is love and acceptance for me, not matter what I do. That there is a Mother there with open and loving arms, always and eternally.
Anyway, back to the baby birds. I had to do what I thought was the most humane thing I could do. I had to end the life of the last chick. It was difficult and I cried, but I felt some relief that it was not suffering any longer.
I don’t blame my own mother for anything anymore. We experience things and learn. We grow. And hopefully, we become better than we were because of it.