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His eye is on the sparrow

The mister and I had a visitor this morning as we were sitting down to breakfast. A little bird flew into the window, then tried to perch on our neighbour’s fence, but clearly dazed, it fell into the snow and stopped moving. Now my mister is of a kindly disposition and couldn’t bear to see the little thing freeze to death, so before I could say a word, he was out the door, trudging through the snow to the poor wee beastie’s side. Once back inside, we found a box, lined it with a towel, carefully put the bird inside, covered the box with another towel and left it in a quiet corner of the kitchen ’til the bird could recover its wits.

After breakfast it is our habit to read aloud from some book on spirituality. Lately we’ve been reading about the Tao te ching, and the balance of all things. “Little sister,” I called to the box, “are you one with Tao?” The mister made a face and replied, “More like one with Ow!” And it’s true – every time we peeked in the box, the bird was holding very, VERY still, eyes half-closed, looking for all the world as if it had the worst hangover in the the history of birddom.

After about a half hour, there were scratchings and scramblings coming from the box, and it was clear little sister was ready to be on her way. The mister took the box outside, and as I watched from the window, slowly pulled back the towel. But the bird shot out of the box with surprising vigour and even gazed his cheek with her wing. “Well that’s a fine howdy-do,” the mister hollered, “a slap in the face!” “No no,” I replied, “a kiss of gratitude.” It perched on our neighbour’s fence again to get its bearings and then flew off as I burst into a spontaneous chorus of “I Believe I Can Fly.”

So one little bird was saved from a premature death – rather insignificant in the grand scheme of things perhaps, but oh! the effect it had on us. Our early morning squints were replaced with smiles and tender looks of concern, and our cynical hearts grew warmer, more fleshy and human.

Really not a bad way to start a new year.

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