The wren came to me during my darkest hour.
I was sick.
The sun wasn’t shining.
It was raining.
Clouds covered the heavens.
I was lost.
Lost in terrifying, paralyzing thoughts.
Thoughts I’d never had before.
That were not me.
That rose up within me a feeling that was truly paralyzing me.
I had just given birth to our daughter a month before.
My husband and I’s first child.
So, why did I feel this way?
Where was the elation?
It was like someone had injected poison into my veins.
I was sick.
The postpartum depression was powerful.
It was a living, breathing being.
It truly had a life of its own.
It had become the enemy.
It was my enemy.
I was fighting back, desperately.
Fighting just to stay alive.
It felt like it was winning.
Every day I would awaken to the sound of black crows.
“Ca caw!! Ca caw!!”
Just before the sun would arise each day,
While darkness filled the sky,
The panic attacks would overtake me.
During those three months, I awoke to a panic attack.
And I awoke to the sound of the enemy outside my window.
The black crow taunting me.
And seeing the buzzards that lived in the dead tree behind the house.
Imagine the fear I had!
The visual imagery.
It was winter.
Everything was dead around me.
The buzzards looked down upon me from the towering, lifeless tree.
I wanted to live, and yet I wanted the suffering to end.
I stood outside that day.
Staring up at the sky.
A break in the clouds.
I saw the sunlight streaming down from heaven.
And then, I heard him.
Faint at first, and then its song reverberated throughout the dark forest.
The melody was the most beautiful sound I’d ever heard.
I couldn’t see the bird.
I didn’t see him for a long time.
Days later, I sat in the living room, feeling especially depressed that particular moment.
I stood up and walked to the back window.
And then, I saw him.
He sat on the red rocking chair on the back porch.
Facing my direction.
We were merely two feet away from one another.
I stood still.
He looked at me.
Our eyes locked and we both stared into each other’s eyes.
This is why I believe in Magic.
This is why I believe in God.
In that moment, I felt like that bird was talking to me.
He was telling me, “It’s going to be okay. You’re going to be okay.”
And then, I found something I’d been searching for.
Hope flooded my heart.
I knew in that moment, that God was with me.
He had not forsaken me.
From that day forward, I kept seeing and hearing that bird.
That bird called a Carolina wren.
It became known as “my wren”.
He made a nest outside my window.
I started hearing the crows less and less.
I’d awaken to the sound of the wren singing his song outside my window.
Singing so loudly.
Scaring away the enemy.
God is in the whisper of the wind,
He’s in the things we deem as “small.”
Like this tiny, little bird that is known for being shy.
My wren was not shy.
He was sent down from heaven to give me hope.
He knew he had to work his magic.
And he had come at just the right time.
When hope had been failing me.
It was still a journey,
But with the Spring came my healing.
With the Spring came new life.
The wren’s nest outside my window
Now housed a family of tiny, baby wrens.
Life was beginning again.
I was alive.
God had saved me.
He sent me a wren.
Yes, the wren came to me during my darkest hour.
[Photography credit: Tom Mann]