Unlikely Places

I was recently reminded of a childhood memory, so I have to share. My grandmother had a beautiful spirit and an appreciation for the non-material things in life. She’d been through the 2nd world war, and starved, and waited for her family to come home, without any letters for months sometimes. I don’t know how she held on. But she still saw beauty in the world, and she shared her point of view with my sister and I.

Oma (as we called my German grandmother), received a female canary. I don’t remember how she got this bird, I’m quite sure she didn’t buy it on her own. I think she inherited it from somebody that didn’t want her. I could understand why. Cetela, as she was later named, was very ugly! She was missing hair around her neck, and she looked really scruffy. But she could sing up a storm. And even though her song was not as beautiful as the male canary’s song would have been, she made us listen to her all day long! She would start singing in the morning when the sun came up, or accompany the vacuum cleaner, or just for no reason at all. She would sing lustily, and tilt her head back proudly. My grandmother just loved her. And Oma was constantly asking us how could such a tiny creature make so much noise! She gave my grandmother so much joy as she would sing with all her heart and soul and might. It was impossible to ignore her. I wondered if she knew my grandmother’s voice and sang even harder when she was in the room. She had such an indomitable spirit. We used to laugh at her. But my grandmother helped us to appreciate Cetela’s spirit and her inner beauty. May we always look beyond the surface of  appearance, and find something to love, and to nurture, and to raise, in the most unlikely places.

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