by Steve Ausherman
At the nursing home where my great aunt Velma spent her last days they had an aviary in one of the hallways.Within this small enclosure, several small birds built nests, flew around, bothered each other, and went about their lives. During the times that I visited, I saw many residents sitting quietly admiring the birds. On one of the tours Velma gave us, she bought my wife and I down to see them and we spent a few moments watching the flutter and play of wings and beaks before us.
I always admired their tiny movements, their lovely, colorful beaks and their seeming enjoyment of their limited surroundings. They were a small corner of beauty in a place too often filled with pain. On each visit I would be sure to return to the well-lit aviary, once showing my two nieces the small birds. I was always struck by how rejuvenating this small place could be and how simple things like watching these little birds going about their daily business could bring such joy.