Saturday, 28 May 2011

My little streaky friend

Hello God.

Someone said something the other day that made me think. It's only a little thing, but for someone who loves words and symbolism and metaphors and often thinks in images, it's a lovely little nugget of a thing.

I was talking about my little blackbird friend who comes so close in the garden (when the neighbours sixteen cats are not around) and who sits on the topmost branch of a conifer near our bench and sings his heart out to me as I sit with my coffee.  He's not even put off by the children, sometimes, so happy is he to sing and sing. He's close enough for me to see his little beak opening and closing and the feathers of his throat ruffle in the breeze as he lifts his head to sing. I said that I thought that I heard you in the bird's song, and it was suggested to me that perhaps this little blackbird was you.

This isn't our blackbird, but it looks a bit like him.
Now this might sound like a distinction without a difference, but it isn't, I don't think. It was a new idea to me. I was enjoying the idea that the bird sings and through him, I can see a glimpse of the beauty of you in your creation. You made the blackbird, and you put a song in his heart, and he is doing as he was made to do. He sings because he was made to sing. And by sitting on the bench with a smile, holding my coffee and watching and listening to him sing, I am loving you. 

So the idea is that it was you. You were there in the blackbird. Now I know that you were there anyway, because you are everywhere; you can't not be there.  And I know that you are with me wherever I go and whatever I do. But you were that blackbird? 

Oh even I've lost the thread of this little daydream now. I know how to make things complicated, don't I? You know what I mean. As I type this I can hear my friend the blackbird, or at least I fancy that it's him. He does do an end of day turn in the tree and he's not discouraged even on a damp evening like this. 

When I see him I can tell him from the other blackbirds because he has a white streak down his tummy - as if some of his feathers have rubbed up against some chalk or something (but it's still there when he's had a bath in the birdbath, because I've watched him). It's funny, years ago when my Dad was still alive there was a blackbird with a grey streak that used to be quite tame and would come and join us when we sat out in the garden; I wonder if they're related. Generations of smudgy blackbirds coming to the same garden to sing and be happy.

I love that little bird.  We fill the bird table with him in mind these days, and we flap at the cats in case they put him off too much and he decides that he'd better go somewhere else to sing his songs. He lifts my spirits when he comes and sits alongside me and puts so much energy in his singing and not only me. He delights us all.  We talk about him and watch out for him and speak to him when he appears. 

He is yours and so am I.  You care about him and you care about me. He is part of your creation, so whether he was singing to you, or you were singing to me through him, or whether you came yourself in the form of a little streaky blackbird to say 'I love you' the other morning or to redirect my thoughts to my loving Father in heaven, then it matters very little. I saw him and I heard him and I heard you and I saw your beauty. And through him, or because of him, or because of you, I praise you.


1 comment:

  1. I liked your post - but I couldn't help wondering what you think happened to all the blackbirds when God sent the flood...


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