I stood at my window this morning, looking out at the beautiful, heat-soaked world. Almost immediately, a sparrow descended to my lawn. Moments later, it was joined by two others. They did not peck or hop about; they seemed to be waiting for something.
I realised that they were waiting for me. They recognised me as a source of food.
I hurried to bring them some dark, seeded bread. Even before I tossed out the first piece, more sparrows were arriving. It seems that I am, to them, the lady with bread (and sometimes strawberries).
This small experience touched me deeply. Not only am I known to the birds, but I am a positive figure in their lives. I began to wonder who else might know me, and how. The flowers in my garden ... my family and friends, of course ... shop assistants at local stores ... When they see me coming, how does their instinct advise them? Do they know I will bring them nourishment - or are they wary of me?
And what about those who do not know me, but whose lives I influence anyway? The farm animals, the trees, the ocean fish and African child labourers. They will never know if I am callous towards them or kind. But I know, and I get to choose how I want to be.
And what about myself? There is no window to open and close against myself; I am here all the time. Do I offer nourishment to myself, especially in the dry hours when every surface is either prickles or fire? Or am I a giant with a grim voice, making little winged pieces of myself scatter fearfully into the shadows?
Of course, there isn't really any window between myself and the world either. I am part of it, like the sparrows and flowers and trees. And they are part of me. The are the songs of my day, the breeze that brings me peace, the nourishment I receive.
I could not find the source of the above picture, as it has spread so widely, the original is lost in the depths of Google. I believe my use of it here may be covered under Fair Use. However, if you know the original artist, please let me know.