A Safe Place to Land

August 10th, 2012

This pair of birds is nesting on an air cooler duct, connected to a window in the room we used for classes this summer at the STEP Drop-In Center. I’d noticed them throughout the workshop, but the birds came to have a deep meaning for me.

Mr. Raheem pointed them out one day. He said that there had been birds nesting in that very spot for 5 years now. As he spoke, kids played right below the window. The birds didn’t seem to mind the kids, and the kids didn’t mind sharing space with the birds.

Mr. Raheem went on to tell me that the children that work in the bazaar have a bad reputation. We’d been warned that they might not bring back cameras if we allowed students to take them home. And they were certainly the type who would drive off birds just for the fun of it.

Mr. Raheem and I smiled. We both knew the truth. The kids that come to the center aren’t perfect. Some of them have very difficult lives. But they’d handled the trust we gave them like a precious gift. And I think they recognized something of themselves in the birds that nest on the air cooler duct: simply looking for a safe place to land for a while.

Mr. Raheem saw it. I saw it. And Karwan, who took the photo last week… I think he saw it too.

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