July 9, 2022, Crossville- The male chicken can fend off attacks on his flock, by raptors, and the most virile of roosters can kill a hawk, falcon or owl, by stealth and superior strength. T has a sense of this, but there are no hens and chicks for him to guard. He sits in his cage, or goes out into his enclosed porch area. It’s all very humane, this living arrangement, though it’s hardly ideal. It is what his human minders can provide, for the time being-and it surely beats being kept in some sort of bird shelter.
Many people, in their later years, are brought to residences of various sizes and quality levels, either of their own volition or by the choice of their minders. They have, by and large, fought their own good fights, fended off the equivalent of the raptors in their own lives-though I must say the birds of prey are at least doing their part in nature, and have a measure of magnificence about them. The human predators, faced down by so many mothers and fathers, in defense of their own, have few, if any, redeeming qualities-even if some of them wear clerical garb, doctors’ scrubs, law enforcement uniforms, judicial robes or sit at a teacher’s desk. There are rogues in every walk of life, and there are lapses in judgement by many others, who are otherwise decent people. The guardians are thus greatly deserving of their respite-even if it doesn’t always feel like it’s the best thing since sliced bread.
I thought of the battles waged on behalf of my siblings and me, by my parents-especially by Mom, and how each of us have carried on the tradition, on behalf of our own children-and their children. The vigilance will continue, as long as there are threats and challenges. I thought of the care being given the precious children being raised by friends, even thought they are not their own. I thought of the battles for the safety and well-being of women and girls, in a world where so many, even other women, regard a female body as someone else’s possession.
There is, to my mind, scant difference between Community Pregnancy Centers and alternative clinics that offer a full range of services to women in crisis. Where the line needs to be drawn, in any case, is the occasion where the woman in crisis is having her choices made for her-whether it is the judge forbidding her to seek abortion or the doctor, with dollar signs in his/her head, having the person strapped down to a bed and carrying out the procedure, even after she has changed her mind and decided to carry the baby to term.
In an entirely different scenario, Penny had the final say on anything to do with her body, until she no longer could coherently make such decisions. When it fell to me, or to our son, the decision made was always in keeping with what we felt the woman we knew would have chosen.
The hawk slayer sits, peacefully, on his roost, as the rest of us get ready for a good night’s rest. He will sleep, himself, when he senses there is no threat for the evening. May it ever remain so.