It's not often you get to comfort life as it leaves, for good.
My Nuthatch has been a friend for two years. During that time, she raised four healthy broods of young, two per brood. She would sit on my hand and choose a choice nut, every morning, and return often, to the feeder, all day, every day.
She's been going downhill for a few weeks, and perched beside her latest perfect babies, it was quite evident.
Today, she sat steadfastly in the feeder and wouldn't move. when I offered her more nuts, she landed in my hand, poked about, and decided it was too hard to eat anything. She just sat, and wouldn't move.
For a few hours, I held her, while she hunkered down, leaving me to do what I could, around the garden, with only one hand.
An hour ago, she spread her wings, arched her back, fluttered a bit, and died.
Looking up, high into a sunlit Hemlock, a glittering jewel caught my eye, refracting the sun's rays, like a multi-faceted diamond, sparkling all the colours of the rainbow.
I don't know what it was. A drop of resin, catching the light? An iridescent hummingbird, angled just so?
Or maybe the most obvious thing of all: the eternal soul of a tiny life, on its way into everything.
I wandered out to the sacrificial stump, where all meat scraps and newly-dead things are laid, for the ravens and vultures to snack. Pausing a few feet away from two baby raccoons, playing by the pond.
Peace settles after such an event. Beyond sadness, and untouched by it.
All is well, one dimension away from the insane and rather insignificant fragment of life that is the domain of humans.