Last summer I saw a baby Stellar Jay perched on my arbor, resting after trying out its wings. I looked away for an instant; when I looked back, it was gone.
It reminded me of something The Venerable Bede once said. Bede was an Anglo-Saxon monk born in 672A.D.
In The Ecclesiastical History of the English People he compares a person’s life to the flight of a sparrow. Imagine sitting in a mead-hall at supper by the light of a blazing fire, while outside a winter storm rages.
A sparrow flies in one door of the hall, into the light, then darts out out another door, back into the cold dark night. “So our lives appear for a short space,” said Bede, “but of what went before, or what is to follow, we are utterly ignorant.”
People have many different thoughts, feelings, beliefs and explanations as to what or if anything comes before…
…or after the sparrow’s flight.
Sooner or later each of us will fly out into the night.
That seems to be the only thing everyone can agree upon.
I don’t need to know all the answers before I fly back out.
I am right here, right now, basking in the warm and beautiful light of life.
Whatever happens outside the mead-hall won’t change the way I live my life here and now.
I have work I am passionate about…
..family I love and good friends to play with.
I care about issues in the wider world…
…and in my own little sphere.
I hope I can make some small difference…as a writer, a storyteller, a parent, a friend…
…and to leave even just a little nightlight shining…
…when my flight is done.
All words and images copyright Naomi Baltuck
NAOMI BALTUCK ~ is a Contributing Editor and Resident Storyteller here at Bardo. She is a world-traveler and an award-winning writer, photographer, and story-teller whose works of fiction and nonfiction are available through Amazon HERE. Naomi presents her wonderful photo-stories – always interesting and rich with meaning and humor – at Writing Between the Lines, Life from the Writer’s POV. She also conducts workshops such as Peace Porridge (multicultural stories to promote cooperation, goodwill, and peaceful coexistence), Whispers in the Graveyard (a spellbinding array of haunting and mysterious stories), Tandem Tales, Traveling Light Around the World, and others. For more on her programs visit Naomi Baltuck.com
10 thoughts on “The Flight of the Sparrow”
Well, you already know how much I love this piece. Thank you for posting it here, Naomi!
Thanks so much for asking, Jamie. It was my pleasure.
Naomi, This is a deeply moving and evocative post. Thank you. Have you read “The Fall of the Sparrow?”.
I love your picture essays, Naomi. I thought of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, actually, reading this one. Being aware of our flight here, down to the last feather tip…not that I think I’ll achieve that much control…but practicing nevertheless is another aspect I’d add to the metaphor.
What a moving photo essay. I enjoyed this thoroughly. ” A Beautiful Life.”
A wonderful photo bio
You do make a difference, Naomi. This is a compelling post with stunning photography.
Naomi: Of your many beautiful photo-essays-poems, I think this one strikes me as the most autobiographical, the most “present,” the most evocative. Thank you so much for blessing us with your art and presence.