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by Richard L. Provencher  
3/11/2008 / Events

From my living room, I see bird feeders on my balcony, with provisions for a variety of beaks. Adventurous ones frequent this private hideaway, nestled beneath towering maples. Three birch trees with shredding bark provide a colorful backdrop of contrast.

In the name of love, a magical interlude soon takes place. A sparrow seeks out the sunflower seeds. Feet scrabble for a purchase of space on the feeder. It must be a mother. How do I know? She begins feeding another smaller sized version of herself. The smaller sparrow is patient on the porch railing, its mouth wide open.

Then she swoops down, sticks her beak inside dropping her cargo. This luxurious moment between mother and child is a scene I view with overwhelmed eyes, a feast of pleasure.

This is a link of love, between mother and child. The act of caring outside my window is no different than that between humans. I watch the mother sparrow go from feeder to feathered child at least six times. The older bird has opened up the shells saving only the soft and delicious inside seeds. Finally, the baby's appetite is abated. And mother is off to other chores.

In a few moments, this tiny bird escapes into another adventure. So it is too, with our children who depend on their mothers for nurturing. And in spite of difficult hardships, strength from within adult hearts allows each to carry on.

I know of one such mother whose child is in need of Total Care. Her little boy has never known the feel of grass on bare knees. Nor has he felt the slap of a ball into a First Baseman's mitt. But, Bradly adores her with his fixed stare, eyes absorbing this dear mother.

She proudly pushes her son around in his wheel chair, singing and carrying on a one-way conversation. "See my Brad," she relates to any passerby. "He enjoys going for a ride on such a sunny day." And somewhere within his pattern of thought, the little boy manages to grunt an affirmative.

Yes indeed, there is joy amongst the pain of life.

A mother approached me one day to write a children's story for her child who was petrified about going into the hospital. You see, he was facing a life-threatening operation and didn't know if it was okay for a ten-year old boy to cry. She wanted to assure her son a mother's love was beside him all the way.

In my short story, I had the brave lad get up early, although with trepidation, and soon he was checked into his hospital room. Unknown to Bryant, a surprise birthday party took place before his operation. It was then, in my story, the boy asked his mom if it was okay to cry.

Except those were tears of happiness, to know mom cared enough for him to invite friends for such a party. Apparently mother and child enjoyed the story.

Mothers love their children. And whether it is a lady sparrow, or a mother with concerns for the health of her sickly one, nothing can sever these perpetual ties. Even in death, there is a gladness of spirit. Where even little ones are elevated to the highest degree of love in a mother's heart.

Such is the case with another friend. A son's life was lost in a tragic accident. An unfortunate slide down a hill and crashing into the car's grill ended a bright hope of life for nine-year old Ashley. The absence of this young life in the mosaic of his family is devastating.

Yet spirits are not crushed. A filament of love continues to sparkle within his mother's bosom. A little poem relates the active presence of that child in her spirit. And also pasted within her mother of hearts. That piece of paper reads:

"Son, you're a star so bright,
you're a shining in the night.
You're golden pride with silver
and gems. I know your place.
You're the child in my dreams.
You're my Prince at peace."

Each night she reads those written words, wipes away gathering tears, then tucks the letter under her pillow. Then sleep mingles with a mother's love for her precious child.

* * *

Richard L. Provencher 2007

Richard enjoys writing poems; many of which have been published in Print and Online. He and his wife, Esther are also co-authors of stories and a print novel. They are "born again" Christians and very busy in their church, Abundant Life Victory International, in Bible Hill, Nova Scotia.

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