Breathing Again

January 21, 2021

Yesterday, Inauguration Day here in the States, was, for me, a great release.  I felt I was able to let go a burden of fear and anxiety and disbelief and confusion and hurt that I have been shouldering for the last four years.  I recognize that many, many others feel very differently, and my heart holds compassion for them.  I wish I had the answer for how we bridge that gap which divides.  I lift all of us, this country, to the Light that taught us acts of violence and violent rhetoric cannot be our response.  Words have spirit.  Words carry both the power of life, and of death.  So yesterday’s words from all who spoke offered a much-needed respite of hope, light, healing, unity, and new beginnings.  I felt, at least for the day, that I could breathe again.

I understand that yesterday, January 20, 2021, was a kind of oasis-moment, that we haven’t seen the last of discord and turmoil, that we are still caught in the darkness that plague and politics have settled on us.  But my sincerest hope is that we will all, no matter what our beliefs and convictions, be still enough to breathe, be still enough to allow the Light to shine our way homeward.

January 7, 2021
the day following assault on the Nation’s Capitol

Dozens of birds invade the feeder
more than I’ve ever witnessed
they dart from the leaden sky
from bare limbs wrens and finches
cardinals nuthatches
black-capped chickadees a red-bellied
woodpecker. They shove
dart flitter hover
anxious for the shiny black
seed that spills
like sand from an hour glass.
What do they know? Hear?
What have they sensed in the bitter
vibrations of rage and fear
hatred and betrayal
emanating from the land of the free
where freedom lies as broken
as Capitol windows as shattered
as battered doors? Do they feed now
while they can as much as they can
uncertain if someone will be here
tomorrow to lavish them with seed
eager to fly elsewhere anywhere
An omen prediction foreshadowing
beating wings image desperation until
here a finch stops
in the midst of frenzy
holds stillness
shares a seed with its mate who receives
it delicately slowly.
In that single gesture,
I breathe again.

 ©  Rosemary McMahan

Author: remcmahan

Poet, writer, minister, wanderer, traveler on the way, Light-seeker ~ hoping others will join me on the journey of discovering who we are and were meant to be. You can reach me at or at my blog,

2 thoughts on “Breathing Again”

  1. Oh Rosemary, I can see vividly the image of your poem in my mind’s eye, I can feel the chaos and then the calm. Always grateful for the calm, and now letting go in a huge “swoosh” the breath I’ve been holding for the last four years. May the compassion you hold be a bridge to healing and may God bless a nation so deeply in need of healing. Thank you for your beautiful blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for the comforting image of the avian equivalent of a loving action! Perhaps also as hopeful is that Charles saw the same action a few days ago, only this one took place between a housefinch and a purple finch, so it was inter-SPECIES charity.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Mary Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: