Friday, December 24, 2010

The Year of the Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow
 Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis)


I have never really thought much about sparrows, but this seems to be changing.  In my other blog reflecting on Mary Oliver's poetry, sparrows have come up frequently in her poems and my writing.  Then on Sunday, as part of the local Christmas Bird Count, I was a member of a counting circle that emphasized sparrows. We formed "sparrow lines" to flush out and identify the birds. Okay, I was more of flusher than an identifier.  Only two days later I received in the mail rather serendipitously a promotional nature calendar whose subject  was...wait for it....sparrows!

Then yesterday this story was brought to  my attention:

"Tell me, how much is a snowflake in weight?" asked a sparrow a wild pigeon.
"Not more than nothing" was the answer. 

"Then", the sparrow says, "I want to tell you a wonderful story: I was
sitting on a branch of a pine tree, close to the trunk when it started to
snow. Not much, not like in a storm. No, it was like in a dream, without
any touch of intensity. Because I did not have anything else to do I started
to count those snowflakes which fell on my branch and the needles. Their
number was 3 741 952. When the next snowflake fell on the branch - not
more than a nothing as you said - the branch broke." 

The sparrow did not say more, he took off. 

The pigeon, which is supposed to be an authority since Noah in this topic,
thought a while about this story and then said to itself: May be there is
only one voice missing on our earth that peace will be in our world. 

Is yours the missing voice?

Is it the sparrows?

Is it mine?

What I am learning, oh Lord, ever so slowly, is that all beings matter, for each sings a song of life, and of death. 

So to affirm this knowing I plan to embody this song.  I shall learn more about sparrows this year.  Let them no longer be unidentifiable "little-brown'jobs" but daily miracles to discern.

May I in this year come to know the voices in the field as I add my song to theirs.

Whose voice shall you join this year?


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