The girl who talked to birds and trees 

Dall•e AI generated

I wrote this story a while ago before I started inner child healing work. Like always with writing, it was my healing method. My way to embrace my wonder child. What weird and wonderful stuff were you into as a child? Have you tried writing/ journaling about your experiences?

* * *

That summer dad lost me twice. Mum was at the hospital with my baby sister and dad was doing his best working and looking after me and my brother. One time we were on our way to grandma and I got off the bus early. Dad noticed too late. The second time I came home from school, no one was home so I got on a bus and went across town to visit grandma. Oblivious of the consequences, I enjoyed tea in her fancy china cups and the yummy homemade jam made out of blackcurrants that we collected at her summer house.

After this, parents gave me a gate key so I could access the yard and the garden, but not the house. It was for the best. A year or so before I had stuck a hair pin in the electricity socket which produced a loud explosion at the local power station and sent the whole area into darkness.

I came home from school and no one was there. I unlocked the old worn door in the old worn gate, got inside, threw my school bag on the stairs and quickly got bored. Garden was out of reach – I believed that different mythical creatures and spirits lived there. Most were harmless, other than the monster who lived in the toilet and gobbled up my favourite slipper (I still remember its sapphire blue, luxuriously soft velvet!). It was a sombre overcast day and I thought that it was exactly on days like this that the dark magic powers came out looking for little girls who were alone.

I talked to the sunflowers growing in the yard. I followed ants scurrying about, stood up and straightened my Soviet uniform, a brown school dress with stiff white lace collar and cuffs. I peeked into the darkness of the cellar with its strong earthy smell. I stared at the enormous poplar tree outside visible from anywhere in the street, a hallmark of the area that many kids tried to scale in vain. Adults loved to worry about it during storms and have lengthy discussions about which houses it would decimate if it were to fall down.

On the windy days the mighty tree branches swayed gracefully high in the sky and thousands of leaves, smooth waxy green on the outside, velvet white on the inside, danced in the sunshine making the tree look alive. I remember lying on the grass, under the canopy of cherry trees, staring at the poplar through the kaleidoscope of leaves, squinting against the smiling warm sun. 

Many times I tried to hug the tree’s wide smooth trunk as far as my arms could stretch, fail, pat its bark instead and say ‘Hello, how are you?’. I always talked to trees. And still do. I would tell them how my day went. My problems. They would nod patiently and kindly sprinkle me with leaves, petals or seeds. There, there. I always felt better afterwards.

There was a noise. I looked at the gate. A magpie landed on it heavily. It was a large bird of snow white, pitch black and gem like shimmery blues and greens. It looked like it was in a tux on a special mission. It was magnificent. The bird tilted its head and said:

  • Blue. Blur. Larb. 

A talking bird? 

  • Bool. Bloo. Blob. 

It started talking faster as if it had an urgent message for me. I automatically took a couple of steps to the side and back. The magpie hopped sideways in the same direction. I went the opposite way. The bird followed. I dashed for the door. The bird flew over and sat on it. I ran back to the stairs. The magpie flew over, landed on the ground next to me and restarted its urgent speech, hopping sideways and flapping its wings!

I went into a panic mode. I ran to the gate, opened the door and ran outside. The magpie followed. I ran down the street screaming. When the elderly neighbour opened her door, I clutched onto her sobbing: ‘A talking bird!.. after me… help!’.

The rest of the day was a blur. Dad arrived soon after, got the full report from the neighbours and brought me home looking equally alarmed and amused, avoiding the subject in his usual style. Later when mum returned and dad told her all about it, I saw that she did not know how to process it either. I already was a strange child in her eyes and this just added to her growing concern. Eventually, I was told that this was a product of my vivid imagination, that there was no such thing as talking birds and, other than occasionally used as a comical anecdote at one of the big family gatherings, the incident got forgotten about.

I did not forget. That night I laid in bed, initial fear replaced with growing anxiety of missing out on something significant. What did it all mean? What was the magpie trying to say? Should I have listened rather than run away? I felt that fear prevented me from learning something very important.

As I drifted to sleep, I heard a strange song, a hypnotic rhythm, with rattling in the background, in a language I did not understand. Serpiente. Jaguar. Águila. I turned and noticed a giant magpie staring at me. It was getting closer and bigger but I was not scared. When it got really close, I was absorbed into the bottomless black pit of its giant eye and dissolved into the void.

Then, as suddenly, I was surrounded by light that appeared out of the darkness. It filled me with warmth and love. Unconditional. Pure. Absolute. I felt safe. I felt loved. I knew I would be ok.

Me from the future was there, she looked happy and she was smiling. She gave me a hug and told me I was not alone.

And then it was morning and I was back in the world where I was a weird little girl who talked to birds and trees.

About nomadoftheuniverse

Nomad of the Universe, nobody special, Buddhist, student of Ram Dass. I write about happiness, meaning and spirituality. My book on Love Addiction is out on Amazon now.
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