The gales are howling again here tonight. The branches in the garden are fast losing their remaining leaves; one good frost and winter will be complete. For now, there are still little geraniums and the odd sheltered rose still in bloom and the honeysuckle hedge, shaggy, evergreen and in desperate need of an autumnal haircut, still houses the colony of sparrows it has protected all year.
Although most of the little birds are staying safely amid the intertwined branches, a few ventured forth in search of dinner. I watched as they flew through the clouds of wind-whipped leaves; not perhaps quite as joyfully as usual, but still following their chosen path.
Not for the first time, I was amazed by the strength in these tiny wings.
Have you ever held a sparrow? They weigh no more than cotton wool, barely registering in the scale of your hand. Their delicate bones feel too fragile for flight, even on a balmy summer’s day. In strong winds it seems impossible that such tiny creatures should be able to fly at all.
And yet they do.
To me, that seems a miracle… and whether you see it as a miracle of organic evolution or part of a divine design, doesn’t really matter. It still beggars belief that there is such ability in the little feathered aeronauts.
While the storm rages, I find myself watching their flight and drawing inspiration from them, that a creature so small and delicate can take on the storm… and win.
They are at home in their environment, one with the air. They don’t fight the wind, something infinitely bigger and stronger than they… they ride it or simply cut through it, being no more than themselves… having no need to be more than themselves. They are perfect, just as they are.