April 6, 2011

Living with a Sparrow!

Alexandar Matskevich. Marathon runner. Has run 64 Marathons. Avid traveller. Has been to 112 countries. Once a Musician and Journalist in the Soviet Russia and then for the last 30 years, an IT specialist in NY. Loves life and the living. He cares for the Earth in more ways than one. All meaningful and that which demand sacrifice. A very good friend of my better half for years now. More a brother to me in the way we share our sensitivities towards the environment. Lives with his Wife and Mother in Brooklyn, US.

Alex as he is lovingly called has influenced me to care more for the Earth. It will take a few posts to write about him. He inspires me to start a new section here where I could talk about Earth Warriors- if I could call them so. So, here I proudly present a snippet from my first Earth Warrior!

He happened to read my previous post about the Sparrow houses and then wrote the story of an unconditional love. Is it  just coincidental that I wrote about our selfishness to share our living spaces? How can you live with a Sparrow in your own house? Well, Alex does and he takes care of her as well. Here is his story below, unedited and straight from the heart.

Alex, unplugged; for you...

                                  (That is the lucky Sparrow who has made Alex's home hers!)

Unconditional Love
One warm day in May 2010, my mom, Hana and I were walking a block away from our home when we heard a very loud chirping. So much noise, oh no, not noise, of course, but rather beautiful music, was coming from a surprisingly little bundle of feathers and fur sitting on a sidewalk in front of us. A little sparrow! I guess he fell from his nest, or maybe he was kicked out by parents for whatever reason, or no reason whatsoever. I have to admit that I am usually not too good in catching live creatures like roaches (before throwing them gently into the grass outside of our windows). Or - catching sparrows. I am afraid to smash them by accident, or to break their legs, God forbid. So Hana went into action, and moments later a tiny sparrow was in her hands, and we were on our fast way home with a new temporary tenant.
It is not my first rescue of a little sparrow. The goal is to feed them, to teach them to fly, and a few weeks later to release them into the Life of Freedom. Not every rescue operation ends well. Sometimes, a bird doesn’t survive even her very first hour at home, probably due to malnourishment or some internal illness, sometimes she never learns to fly, as happened once when the sparrow lived with me until he passed away a year later, probably from a heart failure common for sparrows. We hoped that we would succeed this time and free the bird soon. Well, doesn’t look like we ever will.
A year after his rescue, things are not looking too well. Oh, may I change “his rescue” to “her rescue”? I have an intuitive feeling that it is a girl, probably based on her moodiness and her at times quite irrational behavior. Of course, we try to take a good care of her, providing her with all she may need, except freedom and ability to live with other sparrows. Obviously, she is free now, not in cage, God forbid, but I realize our apartment became for her a Golden Cage.  She lives in our computer room, where she has an “upstairs apartment” at the window sill with three plants, and a “downstairs apartment” also known as a floor, with many more plants. Even a small change in the room or in our clothes (she hates the red color) scares her. How could she survive outside? She would probably die of a heart failure by the time we reach the lobby of our building on our way out with her.
What may be even more important, her flying abilities are quite limited. She can, with an effort, make a circle around the room, or she can fly from the floor to the window, but… not from the window to the floor. She just simply refuses to fly down. Once in a while she looks like she wants to fly down, comes to an edge of a window sill and looks down with an open mouth. At those times her facial expression is nothing less than hilarious, as if saying “Oh my God, no way, I can’t do it!”
But she has to go down at least sometimes, to take a bath in a little plastic “bathtub” for which there is no space “upstairs”, near the window. There is only one way to bring her down – to catch her. She doesn’t like it. She can eat daily her favorite lettuce from my hands, angrily biting my fingers if I don’t hold lettuce the absolutely right way, whatever it is to her. But other than eating from my hands, she doesn’t want me to handle her. She chirps angrily when I gently grab her and quickly bring her down to the floor next to her bathtub.
Amazingly, as soon as she sees the bathtub and hears my traditionally cheerful “It’s shower time!” she changes her angry mood to a playful one and jumps into a bathtub. At that moment she doesn’t even object that I tap my finger into her bathtub making waves – she likes waves while taking her bath! She gets immersed so much into this activity that she is OK accidentally touching my wave-making finger with her wings and even her beak.
I can’t even describe that feeling of an absolute happiness watching a little bird energetically shaking her head and body in the bath just inches from your face and making you all wet with her splashes. Or sitting at the computer and listening to her loud singing and chirping. She usually starts the concert soon after sunrise, and I wake up daily to the most beautiful bird song in the world. It is the most beautiful indeed because looking at our bird and hearing her singing I feel… an unconditional love!  

It must be beautiful to wake up to the chirping of the Sparrow. I salute Alex! May his tribe increase and continue to inspire souls around!


romella said...

Minu, I loved reading your blogs and have learned so much from you. As I have mentioned to my friends that I have reduce my garbage, I no longer buy paper plates and stopped using dishwasher,Yes no more can soup for my daughter which she has been hooked on for months. I found it easy just warmed it up and her meal was ready in no time (to me it was a perfect meal). After reading your blogs, I learned to read the labels on soup can and realized how much chemical it contains and sodium which is very bad for the health. My daughter loved pop corn, juice and hamburger. After i read your blog a(bout 10 worse food list). I no longer buy them or keep them at home. No more fast food...for my kids. Thank you and keep writing them. Remy

anna's musings said...

Thanks a lot, Remy. It's my pleasure. I am so happy that your ways are a lot healthier! For you and for the Earth! Let us spread the good word!

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