May 2 – And Just Like That, A Miracle is Taking Place

The first of the three bluebird hatchlings; one did not hatch.

I’ve spent the months of March and April writing among friends, celebrating the Slice of LIfe Story Challenge and #VerseLove – – and spiffing up my bird and butterfly garden. Each year, we discard any cracked feeders and add a couple of new ones so that we maintain the work that began in spring 2009, shortly after we moved to the Johnson Funny Farm on New Year’s Eve 2008.

I caught butterfly garden fever from my mother. Throughout her years, she planted fennel as host plants for butterflies to lay their eggs. Every summer, her fennel plants would sag with the weight of the caterpillars, each happily munching away to becoming a chrysalis before emerging as a black swallowtail. She also threw out rotting fruit for them to feed on, and taught me to do the same. She had attended a butterfly gardening workshop with one of the leading butterfly garden experts in Georgia and learned that butterflies like to feast on urea. So if you ever see an upside-down garbage can lid with rotting oranges and a wet sponge in a garden, you can bet that someone knew to invite their little grandson to go tee-tee on the sponge to make the butterflies happy. Mom grew nectar plants nearby, such as butterfly bush, azaleas, lantana and coreopsis. Every once in a while I can keep a flower alive, but it takes a modern-day miracle to make it happen.

A miracle. That’s why a week ago Thursday for the Open Mic, I changed up my whole reading plan less than an hour before the long-awaited event started. I’d stepped outside to toss a lemon rind out and to fill the bird feeders and birdbaths and check the bluebird house (again) to see if the eggs had hatched. I could see a tiny notch in one egg, and I knew the hatchling’s head would emerge within the hour if all went well. I waited awhile, watching from the front porch, and when I could see that no parents were coming and going, I returned in time to capture the moment of wonder! Watch the video at the top, if you haven’t already.

I headed out to the poetry reading, leaving my own poems at home, selecting one by by Mary Oliver instead. I stepped onto the stage and read This Morning .

Reading poetry at the Open Mic, 1828 Coffee Company, April 2023

8 Replies to “May 2 – And Just Like That, A Miracle is Taking Place”

  1. “And just like that, like a simple/neighborhood event, a miracle is/taking place.” How I love Mary Oliver! And your post! That video is absolutely incredible – I am so happy that you were there to witness this and share this new life with all of us. Thank you for this! So joyous!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, Kim, my goodness, what a lovely post. This is so amazing that you were able to catch the hatching of that little bird, and your sweet sighs happened at the same time mine did. Mary Oliver’s poem was the perfect choice for your reading. Thank you for sharing it. Wonderful post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This made me cry—and your voice saying welcome. Man, birth is hard work, the very first act of defiance in some ways—that life spirit. Thanks so much for sharing this (and I learned a bit about pee, too).


  4. Kim, that tiny new bluebird has attached itself to my very soul.. such hard work, getting into the world. Life IS a miracle. Mornings are a miracle. Birds are miracles, the last of the dinosaurs among us. The way their songs lift our souls is a miracle…every morning as I go into the school building, a robin high in the branches of a tree sings a song of glory so loudly that it seems to have microphone; the pure sound reigns over the parking lot, the traffic in the street, the earth. It is a call to stillness and reverence at the start of another bustling day. Thank you for the wonder and beauty of your words, and for the reminder (you and Oliver) to look for the miracles which surround us every single day.


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