Thursday, 15 October 2015

Tiny bird, enormous trust

A goldcrest flitted into my writing turret while I was scribbling. It panicked, battered itself on the windows trying to find a way out, then hid behind the chest of drawers. After a while it fluttered around again, once more struggling to find an exit. Eventually it gave up and let me pick it up.

I held it in my hand. It weighed nothing at all. Apparantly a fat one might get to about 5 grammes.

I was humbled. It didn't struggle or scratch as I took it outside. Did it know I wished it no harm, only freedom? Or was it just semi-concussed?

It was still, utterly acquiescent as I carried it out into the cool air outside. It stumbled off my hand onto the decking and sat there, opening and closing its beak in silent speech. One leg was twisted under it and it was cobwebby from the corner of my shed. I was worried that I had hurt it, and crouched nearby, watching.

A breeze caught it and it was so light, little thing, that it lifted like a leaf. Then its wings trilled a beat and it landed itself back on the deck. Its leg was sorted out and it hopped a bit, closing its beak, looking as if it was coming to. Eventually it flew experimentally, successfully, into the nearest birch and sat clutching a twig, nodding as if satisfied that its adventure had reached a satisfactory conclusion. Then it fell to tapping and nibbling, hunting its usual prey.

Did it come into my writing room to show me how wonderful the world is? To remind me to stop, look and marvel? To tell me I am just one other animal in a forest of kindred animals?


tiny in my hand
- your trust is as huge
as the birch tree

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