Saturday, May 30, 2009

perfect robin's egg

This is the robin's egg I found this morning. I found it on the parkway, under an oak tree. I was headed to the farmer's market to buy some chili plants. I bought some chili plants, but first I went back home to put my robin's egg in safe spot. I had plans for it.

My plans were not to eat it, though I did think to hard boil it. I thought it would keep longer if I hard boiled it. It probably will keep longer, I thought, but then the idea seemed wrong to me. It should be a fleeting beauty, I said to myself, and then I felt some sadness. It seems impossible to resist contemplation when you find a perfect robin's egg on the ground. I've been contemplating all morning.

If you find a perfect robin's egg on the ground, the egg becomes a symbol. This is hard to avoid, this manner of thinking about the world. We all know how rare it is to find even a broken robin's egg. For those of us who scan the ground for neat things as we walk, a broken robin's egg is a rare find. How much more rare it is, then, to find a perfect one on the ground. They fall from trees. They usually break. This is how the thing becomes a symbol. It is only one egg, and I am only one person; it is meant to tell me something.

I'm not sure what it's telling me. All kinds of things, I suppose. One thing it did tell me was to go home and put it somewhere safe. It also told me to wash my hands after handling it, but that was just childhood training. Birds are supposedly dirty, but the things I'm really thinking about have nothing to do with dirt or training. They have to do with the way to go about in the world.

I suppose I should go softly about the world. There are precious and delicate things all around, and I would not want to wound one.


Jess said...

Aren't robins' eggs blue, as in "robin's egg blue"? Is there some chance that this is the egg of an UNIDENTIFIED bird? Incubate it! Incubate it! Hatch the baby!

Anonymous said...

I just found four robin's eggs on the ground, uncracked. I am just wrecked that they won't hatch.