Rapt and unwrapped

There are days when I’m sure the powers that be are trying to tell me something. Anything can be an omen, but some creatures are especially portentous.

I didn’t take Sam the dog outside right away, when I got home from my visit to my mom’s house.  Erika called me to the window, excited.

the busy bird

Some sort of raptor was exploring the insides of a smaller creature.  It’s head was down, busy busy.  I suppose that’s where the “unwrapped” part comes in.

We have a couple of intriguing places for birds to perch, because trees have been damaged in the worst of recent winters.  The cherry is a funny abstraction.  While the neighbours still enjoy a great deal of shade and even fruit from the northern remnant, the southern branch –which used to shade our yard—had to come off a couple of years ago, as the tree began to split down the middle.  And so while the northern half prospers the southern half comes to a sort of stump up in the air: where birds and animals sometimes enjoy the view.

That’s where the raptor decided to improvise his/her butcher’s block, on the flat wooden surface, unafraid of me when I came outside to take a few pictures: but also so unimpressed that I couldn’t get a really good picture.

When Sam & I finally went outside the bird was long gone. So Sam made a point of sniffing a lot, and pointedly marking her territory at the base of the tree.  I thought to myself “well you certainly showed him (or her).” 

But of the course the big bird was long gone, not noticing either of us (neither Sam nor me).  I wonder if Sam could smell the remnants of whatever the raptor was rapt for. 

“Rapt” means attentive, right?   

Earlier at my mom’s? My mom was lost in thought, asking me about an author.

She asked me if she was nuts to be thinking of an author, whose name she remembered as “Kurtz Mahler”. Was there such an author, she mused to herself. That was how she spelled it out, while wondering if maybe there was such a person. And why did it come back to her.  The name would be the author of romances, not a great writer. 

Then I googled and found Hedwig Courths-Mahler who had indeed written popular romances back in the 1920s in Europe.

My mother recalled that her own grand-mother read the romances of Courths-Mahler, that back in the 1930s when she was just a child, she had seen the books.  This was reported to me without any sense that the author is great or talented.  It was a dim memory of books that my mom never read. She had seen more than one book by this author. My mother didn’t want me to mistake Courths-Mahler for serious literature. She was a bit apologetic, that her grandmother wasn’t educated.

I was impressed that the name had suddenly come to her, that she remembered her grandmother and recalled moments when she would help her, bring her comfort when she was in pain, late in her life.  

At one time, so my mother tells it, her father lived with three women, namely his wife, his mother in law and her mother as well (aka the grandmother).  And at one point she was no longer there, but no one made a big fuss, so as not to upset anyone.  I think the memory was as much about what wasn’t said as anything else. 

The episodes I experienced today are full of unknowns and ellipsis….

-Courths-Mahler herself

-the books by Courths-Mahler

-the mysterious reader of Courths-Mahler aka my mom’s grandmother. I’ve never seen a picture of her, nor do I know her name.

-the creature that ended up on the bird’s improvised butcher block

-the bird itself.

-the split cherry tree

A raptor is a portent of vision. While they soar high in the sky on this occasion we were visited close to the Earth. Am I being alerted to something, I wonder?

Sam in her yard

I wish I could be as calm about it as Sam.

This entry was posted in Animals, domestic & wild, Books & Literature, Personal ruminations & essays, Spirituality & Religion. Bookmark the permalink.

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