Trees steady me. They lose their leaves but continue to stand tall.
Friends reassure me: they don’t sum me up by my lapses.
Birds steady and reassure me.
They appear carefree even in winter. They remind me of how to survive: not just by winging their way South but also by foraging near streams, by finding shelter in old nests and by fluffing their feathers and huddling together.
Writing about how birds survive in winter, I found this phrase: “Rete mirabile,” words for the special adaptation that keeps birds’ feet from freezing.
Rete mirabile means “wonderful net.” The words describe a fine, netlike pattern of arteries that interweaves warm blood from a bird’s heart with the veins carrying cold blood from its feet and legs.
Rete mirabile: a phrase that describes life-saving patterns. I’m writing about this now, hoping I’ll always remember.
16 Comments on “Rete Mirabile”
How lovely. And how encouraging to those of us who lose words, forget names and get confused. Thank you.
I loved this piece.
What a spare and stunning piece.
A beautiful theme, beautifully expressed
p.s I always thought your writing about your mother was one of the miracles of our writing class
Thank you, Maggie for leaving such a beautiful comment. Very encouraging about both life and writing to get such a response
Beautifully said, Elly. I love the concept of “rete mirabile.” And, mirabile dictu, it’s a soothing thought during these crazy times.
How fortunate I am to be able to reach you through my writing. I thank Persimmon Tree Magazine for carrying my words to my friends and to new readers near and far
Dear Elly, my heart is filled with pride to know you,to be near you and read your wonderful writing which is always outstanding. Thanks for sharing your beautiful thoughts. I admire you so.
I thank you for finding my writing here. I hope you come back to this website. It offers us a great deal. I’m pleased that you found my words “beautiful”especially since I admire your writing also
Dearest Elly, you write so beautifully and we have become so aware and grateful that we are now part of this comforting “mash” or “net”. Although we do not see all your faces, we know that you are here and are all “actors » in this unusual play.
Some of us are just tall trees, others have seen buds and new leaves. Let’s open the windows and listen to those birds while they are busy preparing for their next generation. We love you !
Elly, thank you for your beautiful and calming thoughts. They helped to center me this morning.
May thanks for sharing your precious piece of sustenance, dear friend.
With love, Roberta
So glad I found your appreciative thoughts here. Thank you, thank you dear friends
This is lovely, Elly. Thank you for sending this uplifting message. Stay safe and well.
Just beautiful, Eleanor! Our writing group is also a “wonderful net” that keeps us all warm.
Thank you for this.
I’m really glad I reached you! Thanks so much for your beautiful response