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Sun is Shining Again

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You know I had a family.  We had a community.  Every year we used to fly south from our homes in the frozen north to the south as the summer used to wind down.  It was so much fun flying with my family and friends.  We were excited about this annual pilgrimage to the south.  The journey was long and tiring.  But we are the northern geese.  Flying is in our blood.  Our wings are our pride.  Our wings make us free.  We could go anywhere we wanted to, any time we wanted to.  For us, the entire earth is our home.  There were no national boundaries.  We simply fly. Without wings, we are nothing – no freedom, only an ocean of sadness.  With no family, no community, it seems that there is no purpose in living.  But life or death is not up to us.  So, we have to go on.

Here I am with a kind doctor (humans call them veterinarians) who is trying to give my wing back.  In a tragic storm called Harvey I lost everything during our last journey.  We were flying south – thousands of us.  We follow our leader in a V-formation so that we don’t veer off from the group, not get lost in the vast sky and be lonesome.  You know, sometimes we fly for days.  As we fly we look down below at the peaceful green earth.  Here and there we will see lakes and rivers.  We will see humans tiling their land to grow crops to make a living.  We will pass by big cities and carefully avoid those monstrous tall buildings.  Sometimes they build those right in our flight path.  So, we have to manoeuvre to avoid those.  If you hit one of those, you know death is sudden.  We flew from way up north from a country called Canada, our summer home.  Our destination is a country called Mexico, our winter home.  We flew over the great lakes, through the middle plains of a country called America.  We flew over frozen tundra, over piney woods, over the corn fields – getting closer and closer to our destination.  Sometimes as we fly through the night sky following the stars, our path will be lit by cool, silvery moonlight.  It is so awesome.  Sometimes as it gets dark we will land near a lake or prairie for rest.  Then we take off again.  Unlike humans, we are born to fly.  We are free.  Mother Nature gives us everything we need.  Our needs are simple.  No, we have no need for those artificial things that humans need.  We are the happiest and the luckiest bunch.  But you know bad things can happen to anyone.

As we got closer to our destination, we ran into a huge storm.  Humans named it Harvey.  It was so huge that there was no way to get around it.  The wind was fierce.  The cloud was dark.  Rain was pouring down.  We flew low looking for a place to land.  We could see devastation and flood down below.  Human nests were torn down or inundated, trees uprooted, rainwater flowing like a river creating a huge lake.  As we got closer to a city by the sea called Houston, I could feel something snap my right wing.  I started falling down.  I was separated from my family and the community.  I was afraid for my life.  I didn’t know how many others faced a similar fate.  I did not know if my family would be fine.  I cried, but I wanted to live and defy that storm.  I managed to land in a human neighborhood.  I had no one to turn to.  I could not fly.  I was beaten.  I was hurting.  I walked silently and slowly in pain by the yards of these humans.  I thought they would not be cruel to someone injured like me.  I didn’t speak their language to ask for help.  As I walked, I saw this little girl come out of her nest, then go back in and brought her mother, I think.  I thought, she told to her mother, “Mother, she is hurt.  She is so beautiful.  We got to do something”.  There were tears in her eyes.  The little girl brought a bowl of water and set it at a distance from me, I suppose not to frighten me.  After all, I wasn’t their kind.  I was tired and thirsty.  I approached the bowl cautiously and had a drink.  I would not forget the kindness of the little girl.  I didn’t know if my children were ok.  I could not cry.  I had to be strong.  The girl’s mother clicked a device facing me and then talked to someone through that device.  I just stood there watching them silently.  A few minutes’ later some humans showed up.  They took me to a hospital, I suppose meant for our kind.  The doctor looked at my wing.  It hurt.  But he was only trying to help me.  He pricked my underside with something.  Slowly the pain subsided.  Then he wrapped my wing around the broken area.  My wing wasn’t dangling anymore.  I suppose it would heal soon.

So, here I am at the doctor’s place.  I need to be able to fly again.  I need to find my family.  They are my life.  I am so thankful to that little girl and these kind humans.  The storm has passed.  Sun is shining now.  Humans too are trying to rebuild their nests, and find their loved ones.  I shall find my family.  I shall be free again.


Image by Hans Benn from Pixabay

Lohit Datta-Barua (USA)

Dr. Lohit Datta-Barua has lived in Houston since 1973. As an inspiring writer and contributor to social justice he continues to touch people’s lives. As of 2019 Datta-Barua has authored eleven books, six in English, and five in his mother tongue Assamese. His latest book, “One Long Journey” is primarily a story of survival and hope in the face of of adversity and social upheaval, which Datta-Barua hopes can inspire his readers. All proceeds from “One Long Journey” go for orphan welfare.

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