“Mum, I think I can talk to birds”, says my nearly nine year old son first thing this morning. “Wow. That’s cool!” I reply, “What do you say to each other?” “Well it’s kind of hard to tell you, because, well … we don’t talk human”. And he procedes to make some soft cooing and burbling noises. “Ah, is that pigeon?” I ask. “Yup”. “Is it pigeons that you talk to, love?” “Well I talk to a lot of different ones, but mostly pigeons and doves” he says, before adding “because they’re I think they’re kind of most like people”. “And what happens when you talk?” “Well I listen to what they’re saying and then I say something back. And then they talk back to me. And a lot of times they come up closer to me. One even let me touch it once. I think they like me”. “Oh that’s great, love. Do you mean it’s a bit like when Harry Potter speaks parceltongue to the snakes?” “Exactly!” he says. “Mum, what was the first bird I ever saw?” “Ooh I”m not sure, dude.” “What’s the one you’ve told me about before?” “Aw. I know the one you mean. You never actually *saw* that one though. You mean the barn owl that swooped over our car the night you were born, yeah?” “Yeah the barn owl! Like the one I held at the Owl Centre one time”. “Uhuh, she was beautiful. Do you know in Gaelic she’s called The White Faced Old Woman of The Night? So she’s sort of a wee bit like a white witch.” He pauses for a moment to absorb this. “Mum, do you think she’s the one that gave me my bird-talking powers?”
I absolutely LOVE my son. I think he is amazing and wise. I think he’s a brilliant listener, a thinker and a gorgeous compassionate wee soul. And maybe he does to talk to birds. And maybe they do talk back.
That barn owl – cailleadh oidhe – is part of my WIND RESISTANCE tale. And so is my beautiful son.