This morning a Hermit Thrush returned to our yard for the season. I heard it — skreee! — as Garion set off on a mini-quest for rocks and acorns. A falling leaf — russet, corner-curled, emptied of summer's light — floated soundlessly over G's tiny shoulder. I stood, hands in pockets, listening to the harvest-time voice of my favorite bird, and watched as my son absorbed all the good of the world.
And then it started to drizzle. Indoor creatures we became, once again. Human habitat within windows and walls, a jungle of wired, and wireless, distractions, yet surrounded by boundless books and music. More good things of the world!
Outside I imagined the thrush, flicking rain off its wings, perfumed by a northern forest of hemlock, engaged in a mini-quest for bugs and berries. Though shy, hidden, and non-existent to most, this feathered thing is no less important, or needed, in life. It, too, is part of all the good of the world. Something my little man will one day come to know.
First published in In God's Hand, an anthology from the Writers of Grace in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.