Thursday, July 28, 2016
Are you my mother
A dear and old friend recently referred in a comment here to an eagle friend of mine as a spirit guide. And I thought "No, aren't the turkeys my spirit guide? Isn't the eagle more just like a personal friend?"
And then I was forced to reflect.
As I reflected what flashed through my mind were all the woodland city creatures I have met on my walks in the past few days. I thought of the wee finches who kicked up like a little tornado from a nearby fence and swirled happily about my head as I walked along. I thought of the stained glass yellow butterfly who danced about at my near side for the length of a block as I made my way. I thought of the grizzled and disdainful battlefield of an old street cat who sauntered up to me only to throw himself on his back, all kittenish at my feet. I thought of squirrels pretending to race me, bunnies hopping up and down in front of me like they wanted to show me something, and two enormous hawks who traveled so close to me I thought they were going to alight upon my shoulders.
And I thought of an old, classic picture book by P. D. Eastman, Are You My Mother.
Are You My Mother is one of those books I grew up with in my house as a child and so read hundreds of times. I never really loved the book though. The ending, neat as it was, depressed me. I think this says a lot about my childhood and about my mother because the ending is this(spoiler alert!): After a lost little bird asks a dog, a kitten, a cow, a car, a boat, a hen, a plane, and a "snort" if they're his mother, he is finally reunited with his real mother and they are happy.
And so it is, somewhere inside me, as I meet all these half wild critters who briefly frolic with me like I have stumbled into fairyland, I am asking again and again, each one of them, "Are you my spirit guide?"
"Are you my spirit guide?"
And here we must part ways with our classic picture book by P. D. Eastman. Because here, in my magical, picturebook Minneapolis, the answer is ever...