A few posts ago, I wrote that summer was coming in. It has now taken over. I pulled into a sizzling parking lot two days ago and found a baby bird stranded in an adjacent grassy area. It had stretched out its naked adolescent wings and stood stock still. I think he was willing himself to fly (It could have been a she. I know nothing about determining bird gender, but it looked like a he to me). I could hear the parents in the tree above. Their offspring was too large for them to carry up into the nest and was nowhere near ready to fly.
I knew it was a matter of time--and not much at that--before he would bake to death. I hurried to a nearby store, bought a hand towel and a cloth-covered box. To the sounds of his family's tweets and squawks, I scooped him up in the towel and nested him in the box. I apologized to his parents and explained that this was the best alternative, hopped in the car, and drove the fragile thing to our local Wild Bird Rescue Center.
I just finished a driver's ed course to "make up" for a speeding ticket. I earned the ticket, fair and square. I was driving on one of those streets that, dog gone it, just feels like a 40 mph street instead of a 30 mph street. I'm not glad I got the ticket, but I am glad I took the course-- for reasons both practical and metaphorical.
In 1984, an 18-wheeler truck rear-ended my 2-door car while I was stopped at a red light. Despite wearing a seat belt, my body was thrown far-forward, and when it came flying back into the seat, my body's impact broke the car's seat. I was fortunate. The trucker was without his cargo that day. Otherwise, I might not have survived the accident. Even so, the injuries I did sustain changed my life forever. The tennis matches I planned to play with my son never happened, and I would never again leap gracefully in a ballet class. The experience taught me a lot about how quickly life can change, and how much change one traffic acciden…