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Sunday, 15 December 2013

robins and wreaths

R I P Nelson Mandela.

My heart sinks when it is awoken to the sound of squeaking. You know that nine times out of ten it will be followed by a strange, inhuman growl and the crunching of bones. But the other morning I found something actually living. Down in the kitchen, as I was about to help myself to a slice of bread, I saw a little robin sitting on the bread basket. For a moment I thought I was trapped inside a Christmas card - so small and festive it looked. It let me pick it up, photograph it for this blog and put it outside, away from potential harm where it eventually flew away.

Later that day we noticed that Pocket had gone. We realised that actually we hadn't seen him come to think of it, for nearly two days. It was so out of character that for a strange, fantastical moment I imagined that the souls of all the birds he'd killed had clubbed together and had him changed into that robin. We called all day, looked in all the sheds and other people's sheds wondering if he'd suffered the same fate as his mother who had disappeared too. It reminded me of when I lived in London and had one of the very many black cats I had - this one Mr. Hatty - who one day disappeared. I used to walk the streets of Camden Town looking for him and on more than one occasion, on seeing him and picking him up and bringing him back into the flat, I discovered on closer inspection he wasn't Mr Hatty at all. A lot of struggling black cats do look alike.
Pocket pleased to be back on velvet and not a pelargonium pot.
 Eventually - dear Reader - I thought I'd look in the greenhouse which I hadn't bothered to check out before because I hadn't been in it for three or four days. There he was! Not mewing loudly to be let out but he must have been hungry. He had jumped in through the skylight window which had shut behind him. All the pelargoniums were in there covered in fleece and he had walked and slept on all of them and broken a few pots but it didn't matter we were so pleased to see him.
This was our Christmas card last year which one of my clever daughters took on her phone. We called it Silent Night. Pocket, a year smaller just laid himself down by Pixie in front of the wood burner. No Photoshop involved.

The paperwhites are filling the house with their heady scent.

And some of the roses are still hanging on in the garden.

The Robin

Kahlil Gibran

O, Robin sing! for the secret of eternity is in song
I wish I were as you, free from prisons and chains.

I wish I were you, a soul flying over the valleys,
Sipping the light as wine is sipped from ethereal cups.

I wish I were you, innocent, contented and happy
Ignoring the future and forgetting the past.

I wish I were as you in beauty, grace and elegance
with the wind spreading my wings for adornment by dew

I wish I were as you, a thought floating above the land
Pouring out my songs between flower and the sky

Oh, robin, sing! and disperse my anxiety
I listen to the voice within your voice that whispers in my inner ear.

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