Dead Birds Bring New Opportunities

It took 100 snapshots to finally capture a Mejiro still on a bare branch, being that they are so spirited and flitty | Jane Esaki photo

It took 100 snapshots to finally capture a Mejiro still on a bare branch, being that they are so spirited and flitty | Jane Esaki photo

I am in my house one morning and I hear a “knock-knock.” I hurriedly go to the door, but no one is there. Not even a joke!

So I go back to doing whatever I am doing, which usually is not much. Oh wait, I am waiting for a girlfriend to come over for coffee and a neighbor to mow my yard. That’s something, right?

Not much later, the neighbor arrives. He announces his presence from afar and as he approaches the house, I step out the door onto the landing and, lo and behold, what I see in front of me on the stairs nearly makes my heart stop!

I cringe, and though I don’t scream, the cries inside me translate as consistent, pained, long guttural sounds that refuse to stop. Lying dead on steps number two and four are two, yes two, tiny green Mejiro (Japanese White-eye) birds, named for their conspicuous white eye rings.

Their apparent massacre is especially jarring as they are normally so spirited, flitting around so randomly amid the foliage that often the only snapshot they grant is the wake of the fluttering leaves they leave behind. I look up at their potential slayer—my window—perplexed at how they could’ve mistaken it for the sky, being that it is so dirty some juvenile would’ve written “wash me” on it if they could.

Before I can even pick up a shovel to discard the poor, lifeless carcasses and give them proper attention and burial, my girlfriend drives up. She may be more squeamish than I, and I must be quick on my toes. I find a small garden spade within reach and scoop them up, glad that I’m no longer near-sighted, for the closeups would have further induced incalculable distress. As I throw them into the overgrown bushes nearby, I give a quick silent prayer that their lives were not in vain and that they return to the earth from whence they came.

I have heard that dead birds symbolize all kinds of omens, and after my friends leave, being that I have time to think too much about these things, I ponder and do some research. Some say such occurrences are a prediction or forerunner of doom and gloom, death and destruction. Well, I don’t like to go there so forget that … call me simplistic or whatever you like.

One optimist says the passing of these messengers of the divine does represent “death,” but it is a death of something on which you have been focused. For example, it could be the end of bad relationships, certain behavior patterns, or indecisions about a project.

The dead birds are a “message that whatever you were dealing with is now dead and behind you, and you are now ready to move forward with the new opportunity that has been presenting itself to you and that you have been ignoring for some reason,” says Penny Lighthall, author of Bird Whisperings: Wisdom, Lessons and Message from the Birds.

Strangely, without much thought, I already can name a couple things the author is referring to in my life. And I suppose that in light of the fact that there were two dead birds, I have entered into two new opportunities. I am doubly blessed. Thank you, Mejiro, for giving me your lives so I can have a better one.

It was no joke knocking at my door after all. Instead, they were great opportunities!