If I had a blog, today I would write about one of my favorite birds: The Wren.
When I am out on a photo shoot, it is always a pleasure to encounter a wren. Though they are one of the smallest birds in the forest, they are fearless. They seem happy to let me set up camera and tripod in plain sight and will let me do so at closer range than any of their avian cousins. When They aren’t watching my antics with the camera, they flit about through the underbrush, flipping leaves and darting in and out of the bracken with fierce pleasure. The set of their upturned tail, the gleam in their eye all speak to the wren’s unshakable confidence. If I happen to get a little too close for my subject’s comfort, the wren does not flee, but rather zips a few feet away and scolds me for my impertinence. Chastened, I back away until Her Ladyship feels I’ve shown the requisite obeisance, then she is back at work, and so am I.
On my walk this morning, I encountered two of family Troglodytidae: The winter wren and the house wren. Both were kind enough to let me take the pictures I wanted and I felt my spirits lift just watching these intrepid ladies go about their work. Wrens bring me joy not only because they are lovely, but because they possess traits I lack. I struggle to be self-assured; to speak my mind without fear of reproach, to stand up to the world and proclaim myself worthy of respect however eccentric I may be. I would like the wren to teach me how to set unimpeachable boundaries that allow me to do what I love without feeling self-centered; without questioning my motives a thousand times over and I would like the wren to teach me to sing, to express myself in my voice, however strident and brazen it may seem.
Druids and Celts believed wren feathers were wards against drowning and people often collected cast-off feathers to wear as amulets of protection. I am a good swimmer, but I could use a wren feather to save me from drowning in the ocean of worry and fear. As I survey the future and the inevitable loss of those I hold dear, the waves come crashing, pulling me out into the dark waters of the unknown. I know I must tread these waters, but perhaps with the help of the wren, at least I know I will stay afloat.
If tradition holds, the wrens will be busy along our fence-rows for weeks to come and I will be in their company daily as I take my autumn walks. I will remember to stop and make medicine with the wrens and ask if they would care to pass on their wisdom to a lowly human being. I have hope that a creature who is undeniably certain of its power will accept a me as a willing pupil and perhaps the coming of the Winter Solstice will find me strong of voice and master of my fears. If there is a magic that can guide me to safe harbor, it is Wren Magic that can give me what I seek.