“Can you watch, please?” my friend, and fellow playground parent, calls to me. She’s leaving with her brood and directs me toward the baby hummingbird in the tree. The baby has fallen from the nest. Cautious adults had scooped sweet lawn clippings around the baby bird forming a makeshift nest and avoiding putting their scent on the baby, fearing the mother would fail to claim it. The grassy nest is tucked into the yoke of the tree and we wait and watch for the mother. My friend hesitantly leaves, handing off the watch to me.
Waiting, I wonder, What if the mother never comes, or cannot come, who then will take care of this bird? I consider this noble task. I could rescue the bird, scoop it into the folds of my scarf and carry it home to eyedropper feed. The kids and I would save this bird, but wonder if we were doing right by the wild, and hoping we could release it back to the skies. My daydream is broken, the mother hummingbird flits by. She doesn’t go to her baby. Does she even see her?
I can’t will her to the baby, so I start again thinking about baby hummingbird tending supplies. Soft rags, a shoe box and maybe an eyedropper with juice? Many, many feedings. This seems like a hassle, but I look over at my kids on the playground, we could do this. I attempt to read my book and watch and wait: my kids, the scurrying mother bird and her kid.
This month’s journal pieces speak of this waiting, watching and wonder. Markay Brown’s poem, “Refuge” examines an intrusion, asking: can refuge be recovered? Nanette Rasband Hilton seeks to possess the wild (and deadly) beauty of her own moon flower; can you really own a “Wild” thing?
I could not return that baby bird to the nest she had fallen from. Nor could I interfere without subduing that baby’s untouched wildness; I could only wait. The mother swooped and searched as I sat.
A silent buzz of wings hovered over the nest. She found and fed her baby.
Vigil over, I closed my book and called my children. We would not be taking a baby bird home.
Maybe you too have felt exhalation by wilderness as it is and yet longed to possess it? I didn’t have to attempt it that day; yet maybe refuge and growth, although different, could be have been had in their home or mine.
Sandra Clark Jergensen
June 2015- no issue
February 2014, no issue
April 2013 — Special Issue: 2013 Contest Winners
March 2013 — Special Issue: Mormonism and Disability
Featured Artist: Annie Henrie
Segullah Volume 9 Spring/Summer 2012
“Justice and Mercy”
Featured Artist: Amanda M. Smith
Featured artist: Cindy Ferguson
“Inside and Outside Marriage”
Featured artist: Maralise Petersen
Featured artist: Rebecca Wetzel Wagstaff
“Gifts of the Spirit”
Featured artist: Leslie Graff
Featured artist: Lee Bennion
“Palette of Light”
Featured artist: Sharon Furner
“Roots and Branches”
Featured artist: Mandi Mauldin Felici
Featured artist: Jacqui Larsen
Featured artist: Jamie Wayman
“Cleave Unto Charity”
Featured artist: Rose Datoc Dall
“Women Proclaiming the Gospel”
“Corridors of Change”
Featured artist: Claire Ferguson
“The Measure of Creation”
Cover art by Victoria Holt