Michael Cole: The Bird

It happened five days ago, and I still can’t get it out of my mind.

Not a big deal, maybe to you at least, especially in view of what is happening in our crazy world these days, but for some reason it meant a lot to me, and I   am simply unable to forget it.

To back track briefly, last week I took an Amtrak train trip from Chicago to San Francisco (on the “California Zephyr”) and then onward from San Francisco up to Seattle (on the “Coastal Starlight”).

It was a nice trip, but that is not what I am writing about today.

I then spent a nice day touring the interesting city of Seattle and began my return home the next day with a short flight to Vancouver where I was then transferring to a longer flight back to Toronto.

Upon reaching Vancouver, I had a couple hours layover until my Toronto flight departed.

I took myself to a food court to get some lunch, and took my overpriced and undercooked meal to a secluded seat in the food court to consume my meal.

As I was leisurely eating, I was startled to see a small bird – a sparrow I think – land on the floor under a table, looking, I would assume, for food scraps.

How did this little creature get into this enclosed terminal building? I could only guess. I felt very sorry for it.

But more important, how would this imprisoned and likely very scared tiny bird get out of this enclosed terminal building?

I didn’t see any others of its kind in the vicinity and wondered how long it had been in the building and how it would possibly survive. Where would it find water, or sufficient food to stay alive.

And even if it did survive, for however long, what kind of life would it have.  It would have no other birds to flock with, and no opportunity to find a mate, build a nest, and raise offspring.

I watched as it flew all around, landing here and there, finding crumbs of bread or whatever in the process.

Eventually it flew away to another part of the terminal, I would assume desperately looking for a way to escape to outdoor freedom.

As I said, it has been 5 days since I saw this little bird and I am still wondering, and hoping, that he managed to find a way out of his imprisonment.

I know, I should be more concerned with the innocent people who have lost their lives or their homes in Ukraine. I am concerned about them, as we all are, but I don’t know any of them, and I can’t see them with my own eyes.

I did however see this little scared bird and that makes it somewhat personal, to me at least, and for 5 days I have not been able to get that forlorn bird out of my mind.