Archive for November 15th, 2010

no way out

Last week at the library I saw a new book and just grabbed it as we got ready to check our books out. The author is Jane Yolen, whom we love, and the book title was “Elsie’s Bird.” We love birds, so I thought I could not go wrong grabbing the book.

This morning Lyra brought it to me and I read it. And my heart broke.

The story is about a little girl, Elsie, who lived in the city of Boston and how she loved the birds and all the sounds. But her mother died and her father, in an attempt to move away from the sadness in his heart, re-located them to Nebraska, where the only sea Elsie could find was a sea of grass.

She hid indoors with her bright yellow canary in a cage, not hearing any sounds, and sobbing in bed without letting her father know. But one day while he father was out in town the bird Timmy Tune flew out of out his cage and Elsie had to go looking for him. She finally did, and Timmy came back to her shoulder, and then she began to hear all the sounds of the prairie.

She finally made her home there in Nebraska.

It is not a true story but how my heart broke, that the father tried to run away from the sadness, and how Elsie could not find comfort, at least not for some time, until her father brought home the chickens and the rooster and a dog.

After Ferdinand died, we talked about moving, but did not. But I know for some time I was not there for my girls. My sadness and grief built walls up around myself. I did not try to run away but my heart and mind was often elsewhere, seeking. Perhaps running.

As I read the page about Elsie’s father wishing to put distance to the sadness in his heart, I said to myself, You cannot out-travel grief. As MacCracken said so well in her book, grief will follow you wherever you go, no matter how far you fly, how high you climb.

But it is not always necessarily a heavy luggage to lug along.

Sometimes it is just a sigh you exhale as the sun plunges into the bleeding sea.



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