Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bird on a stone

Montreal, QC, July 2009 [Click image to enlarge]

My father and I had come to this place looking for relatives' final resting places. Online database searches helped us find and honor virtually every grave on our list. Except one.

The rain, which had started as a light drizzle as we arrived in this particularly old section of the cemetery, slowly intensified to the point that I all but ordered my father back to the car. He was doggedly determined to find it, but I figured the risks of my increasingly frail dad falling on the uneven, slippery ground simply weren't worth it. We would return another day. My long lost cousin would still, silently, be here.

As I turned for the car, I noticed a flock of seagulls (go on, say it) had landed on a nearby set of headstones. One bird, in particular, stood there and shrieked at no one in particular. I didn't quite know what to make of the moment (maybe you do...) but I knew I wanted to remember what it felt like to witness it.

Your turn: So what do you make of this moment? Odd, isn't it?


Anonymous said...

I think it's actually amazing.

Mojo said...

I got a chill reading this that could only have been more pronounced if the bird had actually been pointing out the marker you were looking for. I swear I was waiting for that to be the next line in the story.

Birds and souls have long been connected in various belief systems. A sparrow, a crow, what have you, they've been said to convey the souls of those on the other side either into this world or out of it.

Maybe this irascible fellow was waiting for a fare that was taking its sweet time.

Anonymous said...

Hello Carmi!
I concur with Mojo... I thought the next line was going to be that the seagull was pointing out the grave you were looking for.