Broken Wings

It all started with an angel with broken wings. I found her in the lane, discarded, her wings snapped by the weather or maybe eroded away by time; obviously no longer wanted without them.

I walked past her for three days – back and forth – pretending not to look at her, pretending not to want her. On the fourth day I picked her up, surprised at her weight, and carried her home.

It seemed fitting that she would sit in the sun by the side door, catching rays, shaded by wisteria. She looked like she had sat there for years.

I don’t know if her broken wings were letting loose bursts of angelic power but the week that I took her home seemed to unleash forces which were a little frenetic and darker than I might have liked. It was a bad week, a sad week, a mad week where you think it is entirely possible a mirror has been broken without you noticing – a big mirror, antique, with a gilt-edged frame, heavy as a castle door – throwing all that bad luck out into the universe. Seven years worth.

A week after I brought her home I fell off the wall. It was as if her broken wings had affected my sense, my balance, my outlook; it’s hard to explain but it wasn’t in a bad way; it was almost as if the broken wings were an instrument of prophecy. As if her broken wings were my broken wings and she and I were one.

About two weeks ago I found a baby possum abandoned in the park. His mother was dead on the road. I cried a bit and then noticed he was looking at me with his wide, saucer eyes, imploring, defenceless. Peep, he said as if asking for help. Peep.

I called the wildlife rescue service and they came to get him saying they would get him checked out and make sure he had enough to eat. However, a week later my friend, Gina, said she was sure she’d seen him back in the park, skinny and alone.

And there he was.

So Gina and I kept an eye on him, making sure he had enough to eat and that he wasn’t being bothered by cats or kids. It was all going well until that Friday night I fell off the wall. A stormy night, a cold night where the lightning hit the side door of my house with a crack. A crack big enough to break off an angel’s wings.

It had been a really bad week, a really stressful week and as the rain fell I became convinced something had happened to my little possum whom Gina and I had named Peepo. I just couldn’t shake the feeling he was starving or scared or worse – a tree branch fallen on him and crushing his little fluffy neck.

So I went out in the rain and the wind and the lightning to look for him. I couldn’t find him. I couldn’t see him among the shadowy branches of his favourite fig tree. So I stood on the wall that borders the park to get a better look. And the rain fell harder. And the wind lashed. And the lightning thrust itself through the sky. And I thought to myself : Is it wise to be standing on a stone wall in an electrical storm? And I didn’t notice the wall was crumbling onto the pavement below. And I fell off.

In hospital I thought about the angel a lot. How I found her, grew fond of her and in a strange way grew like her. Broken in different ways, but broken nonetheless.

It helped. To think of her. Her snapped off wings keeping her earthbound. She was broken, but in an inexplicable way still whole. Just like me. Just like all of us. Vulnerable, yet strong.

Advertisements

34 thoughts on “Broken Wings

  1. Hi Selma,
    All the events that led up to the point where you fell off the wall, just amazing. Just like a domino effect.
    I hope your leg is getter better, and I’m sure you’ll be back to your old self in no time.

    Like

  2. Perhaps the angel broke her wings by falling off a wall… Sorry, dear, I couldn’t resist. I hope you’re well on your way to a full mend and that your angel is done testing you and Peepo is found and we all live happily ever after and, no, that should do it. πŸ™‚

    Like

    1. Definitely an unfortunate series of events, Susannah – just like the books. As far as I know the little possum is fine. And I am getting there. Thank you!

      Like

  3. I still think it was the crow!

    Came across something the other day while I was looking for something else … apparently, the collective noun for crows is a ‘murder of crows’! Ouch!

    And, coincidentally, I’ve been invited by the sculptors of ‘The Goddess’ to the opening of the ‘Angel Garden’ at Mottisfont (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-15838130) Alas, I don’t think I can make it.

    Like

  4. I would love to see those sculptures, Travelrat. They look amazing. I wonder about that crow, you know. He meant business. A ‘murder of crows’ – shudder 😯

    Like

    1. I know. I am a maniac. If my son had done it I would have killed him. I think I suffer from a variant of your chook-induced anxiety – it is affecting my common sense.Help, I need to see a therapist who specialises in possum-induced anxiety πŸ˜†

      Like

  5. Selma, you have been lucky, not unlucky. I have seen a hole the size of a small car made by a bolt of lightning striking a wall! Take care of the angel, and the baby possum… I loved this post – like all the others!

    Like

    1. You know, you are completely right, Adee. Lightning is an incredibly powerful force. I was extremely lucky and I know it. That lucky escape has given me a fresh perspective. You know what’s weird about it? I was actually quite depresased before it and now I’m not. Very strange!

      Like

  6. we share a soft spot for the wild, broken and abandoned. it didnt escape me, the ‘symbolism’ of the angel with broken wing! it is like an archetype.
    once i stopped my car in the middle of a busy highway, rt. 95 going south to new york. because there was a tiny furball cowering in the middle of the opposite lane. its a truck route as well. i saw 2 trucks go right over it, but the headroom was big and it didnt get run over. i got out of the car, jumped up and down waving my hands, a truck coming straight on, i stopped the traffic! me, tiny little me stopped the traffic. they lined up on both sides and waited.
    the tiny thing was a kitten, it was so frightened it ran away from me when i approached. it ran into the woods along the road. i was sorry i hadnt caught it but had to get to work. sadly, that afternoon on the way home, i saw the same little one lying dead in in the same area i’d seen it that morning. heartbreak. but one must go on. there must be some way to append those wings.

    Like

    1. Oh yes, Tipota, we sure do. I really see that in you and I am glad for it. It is evidence that the heart of humanitty still looms large in this crazy world.

      Awwww. I’m so sorry about the kitten. I have had similar experiences and they always break my heart. People say to me :’Why do you bother trying to save these animals that are going to die anyway or are going to put you in harm’s way?’ and I just reply: ‘How can I not?’ I feel it’s a path I must take. I can’t just leave them there. It is an honour to be able to help them even if the outcome is not a happy one. It is also an honour to know you. You are one in a million xxx

      Like

  7. I think that creepy crow & the broken angel may have cursed you! But I am VERY happy you’re on the mend. And, you truly write better than ANYONE else I know. After 4 years, I still hang onto every single word you write.

    Like

    1. Awww, Meleah. You are so gorgeous. I feel the same way about you. Yours was one of the first blogs I ever read and I’ll never forget your generosity and kindness. Never ever ever ever. Love you xxx

      Like

  8. Gosh that’s such an intriguing series of events. I love the symbolism of the angel with the broken wings. I hope the possum was okay. I guess having vertigo would stop me from ever standing on the top of a wall, electric storm or no electric storm. Glad you’re okay!

    Like

    1. It was a strange series of events, Craftty Green. I don’t know what was going on. It’s sounds strange but I felt like I was being directed by an external force. Very odd. The possum is OK. I saw him last night. He’s growing well and is very cute!

      Like

  9. I don’t think I’ve ever read anybody write about falling off a wall in such a poetic and magical way! But what happened to the possum???!

    Like

    1. Awww, thanks Petrichoric. The whole thing is pretty funny when you think about it. The possum is going well and is a cutie. I’ll try and get a photo of him soon. Great to see you!

      Like

  10. How interesting, this story pulled me in all different directions Sel. On one hand I felt sorry for the broken angel, sorry for the poor little possum and it’s dead mother. Proud to knwo such a caring person as you and at the same time creeped out by the angel and wondering it its good luck or bad or what….

    But I am glad you’re ok and atthe same time wanna give ya a smack for takin such a chance but then I realise you wouldn’t be who you are and the person I so admire if you hadn’t …but still… be careful crazy lady!!!

    Like

    1. I do deserve a smack, Cathy. I have caused so much trouble. I still can’t believe it happened. I am an idiot. The good thing is though, that I think my husband and son appreciate the amount of stuff I do much more now. So something positive has come out of a negative. Shame I had to resort to such extreme measures to get my message across πŸ˜†

      Like

  11. I’m glad that you are on the way to getting better. Let me know when you are all back to 100% – so I can take a flight to Sydney and beat u for being so careless climbing on that wall in that lightning and thunder and then hug you & kiss you and fall at your feet for being such a kind hearted and wonderful human being looking out for a poor baby possum.
    Any wonder why we all love you so much?

    Like

    1. Awww, Roshan, that is funny and kind of you. I do need a good telling off. Sometimes I am a little reckless. I have learned my lesson for good. No more walls. Unless I have a harness. Hahaha.

      Like

    1. It happens sometimes, you know. My neighbour got beaten up about 6 months ago for intervening in a road rage incident. It was quite horrific. You’d think the people trying to help would be spared any injury or aggro but often they’re not. Very freaky, indeed!

      Like

  12. I did go to the Angel Garden on Friday, after all; there’s one up on my ‘Pic of the Week’ and I’ll be putting a slide show up in my blog tomorrow.

    Like

Comments are closed.