A Small and Precious Life

Pandanus grasses sway with the gentle breeze of first light. A sparrow fusses about her nest preparing for the small family that spring will bring. Her tiny beak pulls at long, fine tendrils of bark found, shed by the tall trees that are her home.

Soft, a breath of wind stirs nearby branches; she stops and watches. Just the wind. Back to work. In wind there are sounds of water passing, danger sometimes, and always the breathing of trees. She feels safe with the wind, the trees’ breath tells the small sparrow of the world she cannot understand nor does she concern herself with things beyond this copse. It has always been her home and it will be the home of her young until they are ready to leave to find their own home, perhaps far away.

Creatures come from time to time, large and noisy, disturbing the peace of home. They move slowly, sometimes they carry the clouds of burning that seem to belong to only them. It does not have the tang of burning wood and so she does not worry about it. She watches. She waits. And she listens to their long sounds. They do not stop or if they do it is only ever to water the trees with warm sprays of water and gentle steam. She will not drink this spray. It is not for drinking. Too sharp the smell.

If she is not busy with her nest in the bough she goes to find a morsel to eat. Under the trees’ fallen leaves lie many tasty, small foods that move slowly, so easy to catch and eat. With a full belly she will fly up to a branch and listen to the river sounds. Each day the river brings new things and each day the talking of the river is different as it rolls over new branches and stones that clip and clup when they meet. The sparrow loves the river most, after her branch of course. It is her music.

~ ^-^ ~

I love this sparrow. There is a sense that she is what I so often wish to be, perfectly at peace in a small world that changes all the time but is always steady in its own way. I have a feeling I’ll be visiting this sparrow again, to spend more time with her, to meet her babies maybe, and maybe even to follow them on their journey. We shall see, as time flows like that small sparrow’s river.


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