Welcome to the Horse month. The Horse has an impulsive nature that can be joyfully spontaneous and warm. It’s the Horse in each of us that makes us want to be known and seen; to be the apple of someone’s eye; to be in whatever our spotlight is; to move things forward quickly. A Horse not showing these qualities may be in an unhealthy state.
A balanced Horse is the one you want at your party. The unbalanced one is getting attention at your expense. In the presence of a Horse month, Horse year, or another Horse, the Horse is susceptible to what is called a self clash. This is especially true if you have a Horse branch in your ba zi. The nature of the self clash is revealed by the ba zi. If the Horse is in the day branch, it might have something to do with your partner. For a person born on a Water stem day the clash will have to do with money and success. For a person born on an Earth stem day the clash has to do with parents, support, and learning. Donald Trump is an Earth stem person born in a Horse month by the way.
I think the core issue here might be faith. The Horse often labors under competitiveness taken to extremes for the sake of false causes. In wanting to be first in line for the unlimited buffet the Horse does rude things like pushing aside those he considers to be less. The Horse fears that he won’t get his fair share unless he is first. This means being acknowledged as “winning” in every way. The spontaneity of the Horse may exacerbate this bad behavior.
Outside the window I see the two Robins that live near my back door chasing away a Steller’s Jay that is trying to invade their nest. I go outside to stand guard until they return, just to make sure the Crows don’t take advantage. They are uncanny in their perception of vulnerability and the Jay is a member of their corvidae family – an accomplice maybe. I know the Crows will break eggs and kill baby birds to get food for their own young. I think they also do it to eliminate the competition for resources. The Crows don’t trust that there is enough food and water for all the birds in the garden.
The next day I watch the Robins flying down from the nest to gather food and return to deliver it. They are trying to avoid being seen from the air. I think there’s only one chick because I can easily see the nest, parents, and baby through a small gap in the foliage. By nesting so close to the back door they have requested my protection. I feel responsible just because they chose to be near me. I make sure there is water in the birdbath and go in and out quietly. Since I don’t use pesticides I know there is plenty of food (bugs) for them in my garden.
Although we don’t often acknowledge this, the importance of material things is solely to sustain the physical body. We need food, water, shelter, and clothing. In America, we have an abundance of money, material goods and other types of wealth. In terms of sustaining the physical body, if managed properly there is enough of everything for everyone in our country, including health care and education. The idea that there is a shortage, and therefore you need to be first to take, is a Horse thing.
The following day around noon I hear the distress cries of the Robins and I know without even seeing that the Crows have found the nest. The Crows are much bigger and more aggressive than the Robins and there is nothing the Robins can do to stop the Crows other than throwing their own bodies in front of them and calling for help. I can see that one of the Robins has a wound on its head from a sharp Crow’s beak. I think about why other Robins don’t come to help them. Maybe they are more like humans than we know: scared to expose themselves because they may become targets of the powerful too.
I run out of the back door and over to the side of the house where I unwind the hose and attach a sprayer. I turn on the tap and shoo away the Crows with a few bursts of water. But the Crows keep coming back and I can’t tell whether or not the chick is still in the nest. I go back into the house but soon I hear the Robins beseeching again. I go out over and over, each time I hear them cry out. After about an hour of this the Crows give up. I can hear them in the distance cawing and harassing some other poor birds. I go out to see if everything is okay with the chick but I don’t want to get too close to the nest. The parents are still in distress but with the Crows gone I can’t figure out why until I see the nearly featherless chick on the ground at least 8 feet from the nest. I think of my daughter who was born at 32 weeks and how vulnerable we both were.
I feel a huge adrenaline rush as I bend down to look at the baby and realize it is still alive and looks unharmed. People always say you shouldn’t touch a baby bird that’s fallen out of its nest because the parents will abandon it. But really, how would they ever get it back into the nest? I decide to put it back. At least that way it will have a better chance of not being eaten alive. I pick up the baby bird in both of my shaking hands and it turns up its head with its closed eyes and opens its beak wide, maybe in hope that I was there to feed it or maybe in self defense. It is pulsing with life, radiating heat, and I can see each breath it takes in its entire body. I am terrified of hurting it but I manage to get up on a small step stool and gently place the bird back in the nest. I don’t see the parents visit the nest for the rest of that day. I worry that they aren’t coming back. I think about the parents and children who are being separated from each other by ICE right now and wonder how they will maintain hope of being reunited.
The next morning I notice the Robins are going back and forth in their food gathering pattern again. Later in the day I see the silhouette of the baby in the nest, basking in a beam of sunlight inside the tree. I think about how fast baby birds become fledglings and how if I could just buy the Robins one more week of time everything would be okay. I feel hopeful. That is what parents cling to.
Even if we disagree with each other about almost everything, couldn’t we agree that we all have the same hope that our children at least be allowed enough time to grow up being loved in health and safety? Is there any cause worth ruining them?
In the afternoon the Crows come back again. Now each time they hear the back door open they fly away because they know I am coming. I keep going out for as long as I can, until I have to leave for a few hours. When I return I don’t see the Robins or the Crows for the rest of the day.
The following morning I stand outside staring at the now empty nest and thinking about everything that is going on in the world this summer. We don’t need to witness a crime to know that it happened. Evidence can tell the story. A young eagle is soaring overhead and around it a murder of Crows are pursuing, protecting their babies from the predator. I think of children who will die of being taken from their parents before they are old enough to survive on their own.
I send up a request to whomever will hear for the safety of our parents and children. Yours and mine alike, whoever and wherever you are.