This morning at the hotel, I was standing, (as I usually do,) behind the front desk. My fingers were flitting across the keyboard, entering room numbers, pantry purchases, other minor details and reservations and the like. I look up to address one of our more frequent guests, smiling at his clever remark about something-or-other.
And just behind him, barely in his peripherals, something swoops down and dissapears behind the fireplace. Moments of curious chatter continue, and then the bird makes an appearance, perched on the back of one of the sofas. It cocks its head tot he side in quick, jerky motions, beak slightly parted as if panting.
A few of us approach slowly, makign assorted cooing noises to try and calm it down.
At first, I get closest. As I reach out to try and cup it's tiny body in my hand, it leaps up and perches on my hand, staring at me. I catch fear in it's beady eyes. I glimpse pain, exhertion, panic, and a horrible urge to be back out in the open. I realize that the artificial air in here could kill a creature like this.
The thought distracts me and he erupts from my hand and darts off to the other side of the lobby, to the group of kitchen staff, eagerly awaiting a glimpse of our tiny invader.
Another thought, immediately following the thoguht of the creature's safety.
If this artificial air, and this cheery lighting, and the blockage from the freedom outside could kill the free-spirit of such an innocent, care-free creature... what harm can it possibly do to jaded, worrisome sinners like us? I feel like maybe it's worse. For where something so simple can die so quickly - we must take ages to destroy. We must be like slowly rusting cars, wilting and falling to pieces out in the front yard.
That thought trembles in my mind as I hear the triumphant applause of the kitchen staff. I look over, and the head chef has the tiny shivering creature somewhere within his gently cupped hands. He scoots outside the front glass doors and with a flourish he pulls his hands apart.
The bird flapps furiously, and skims low across the pavement to land in the relative silence of some burning bushes , peering out at the glass prison he just so narrowly escaped.
Another moment of thought.
I would rather be a car crash.