I had just come back from a trip to Europe to cleanse myself of work and whatever was left of 2021, and a very common question was this: "What did you like most about the trip?"
Believe me when I tried hard to pick a specific thing or event but I couldn't-- everything was beautiful and wonderful. However there were two, pivotal, everyday moments that anchored my heart in the world (not just the cold continent).
Now in Winter, many things in nature retreat into hibernation. Flowers usually in abundance now hidden in their budded beds, trees exposing as little of their leafy skin to endure the season. Even in the bleakest of days with the scarcest of sunlight, there was one sight that continually enchanted my heart.
Sparrows in bushes. The same sparrows in our tropical climate, but tucked in warm bushes. You could hear them chirping all the same, and they would flit from bush to bush. Yes, especially in bushes.
What's my favourite thing about the trip? Being completely present in all my senses, which kept me looking for sparrows in bushes.
Anecdote aside, this collection is dedicated to the feeling of being in the world. That despite uncertainties and unknowns, what seems to be the longest winter in our lives, we continually renew our perspectives and remember there is magic here-- remember that there are sparrows everywhere. Sparrows in bushes. In trees. In the skies.
I hope the poem from which I named this collection: "The Peace Of Wild Things" by Wendell Berry may be a balm for you.
"When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free."