Pages

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Kissed by an Angel



(Photograph copyright of Shrinky)

Recently I've been going through a spate of waking around 4.30 in the morning. Not in a "toss around and drift back off again" way either, it's like in more of a "Bing! Hey, I'm wide awake, I need to get up now." kind of way. 

So that's what I've been doing, slipping on my robe and silently making my way downstairs. Careful of my slumbering brood, I quietly potter about, drink tea, converse with the dog, check emails, and ruminate about the forthcoming day. 

Although I haven't purposefully chosen to be up this early, I have to confess there is a certain stillness to these hours I've begun to enjoy.

I love to hear the birds wake and call to each other like a massive feathered family of Waltons, I imagine they are checking to see if they have all made it safe through the night. When the orange glow of sunrise peeps over the mountain, I've taken to watching out for the grey Heron as he swoops down to fish for his breakfast at dawn.

I can't see the river from our window, it runs further down the garden through and past the glen, but when the weather permits I sometimes pad down there in the hopes of spotting him.

So it was the other morning, with Jake at my heel and my fluffy slippers collecting dew, I ventured out in to the half light to begin picking my way down there. I'd set less than a couple of footsteps out before something, or to be more precise, someone, stopped me dead in my tracks. 

There, directly in our path, bobbing about on the grass without an apparent care in the world, hopped a tiny little bird.

He surprised me, he should have certainly flown off before allowing me this close. 

Assuming he was injured, I grabbed Jake and bundled him back indoors before going back out to investigate. He was still right there, bobbing around, bright and as chirpy as when I'd first left him. 

I inched a fraction closer. 

He only went and narrowed the gap, didn't he? Cheeping up at me, he darted his head from side to side, obviously keen to share something important. 

I stood there for a bit (well, for an eternity) just watching him, with a silly big grin plastered all over my face. 

How very peculiar!

Chancing my luck, I slowly crouched down and offered him my outstretched hand. Hardly missing a beat, he leapt up and fluttered, landing slap-bang right in to the palm of my hand. 

Oh. My. God. 

I could scarcely breathe. 

He still danced up and down, engaging with me in that high pitch "peep-peep" of his as I looked on - spell-bound. 

Where had he suddenly come from? 

My heart sat in my mouth whilst he fixed me with a playful eye. Suddenly, he hopped, took wing and fluttered to rest on the gatepost at my side - still chirruping away as bold as day.


Finally finding my wits, I turned and fled indoors to find my camera - I stopped to fix the correct lens and attach a flashgun (it was still not fully light yet), already certain he would be long gone before I made it back out there. 

But no, there he was, impatiently awaiting me, trilling his disapproval at such an abrupt departure. I swear this guy positively posed for the camera, flash-light and all! 

Finally, I put my hand out again, and in he hopped once more. I had only one free hand left and with the wrong lens and setting fixed to take it with, but although I couldn't look through the viewfinder, I fired off a few shots anyway, just for proof I wasn't dreaming. 

None of the hand shots came out, only the much blurred image below (but if you peek real hard, you can just about make out a tiny little birdie sitting there in the palm of my hand).
Finally, he lifted his head and turned, and launching himself from my finger, he took to the wing, to fly up, up and away, fast to become only a disappearing speck in the distance.  I wonder if he had other  missions to make before dawn? 

A dear friend and fellow blogger assures me he is a male Gold crest - but I have a very different name in mind.. because daft as this may sound, ever since that angel flew down to kiss me, I've slept like a baby all throughout each and every single night..

(Yes, I am a lazy blogger, this is a re-post from 2008.  I have never seen my little friend since, but neither have I ever forgotten the absolute wonder of his unexpected and wholly inexplicable visit, either.  Oddly enough, it took for my sister to point out that this isn't the only time I've ever experienced such an encounter.  At least twice before, as a child something very similar also occurred.)

53 comments:

david mcmahon said...

Terrific picture, that first one. The second shot, your subject is a bit, er, wooden!!

Your writing is a gift.

CHEWY said...

The little feathered angel placed his trust in the palm of your hand. Sleep well, Shrinky.

pat houseworth said...

Been watching the back yard birds fighting to get to the feeders all morning through the wet snow we are having.

Shrinky said...

Ah David, you always make me smile!

Shrinky said...

I know Chewy, it was magical whilst it lasted.

Shrinky said...

Yes, they do kind of rely on those feeders at this time of year, don't they Pat?

Maalie said...

There is a massive migration of Goldcrests though the I.o.M. each Autumn, many are lucky enough to get caught at the Calf of Man Bird Observatory and get shackled with leg-irons. They are then sometimes turned up at Walney Bird Observatory and elsewhere as they continue there migration.

If you look carefully at the top picture you can see at the back of the crest a tiny patch of flame red where the feathers have got a bit ruffled. It is this underside of the crest that becomes erect like a flag during territorial defence to warn of rivals, much as the red breast of a robin.

Sorry for the tutorial!

Maalie said...

Sorry for the typos. Maybe I should add that I first saw this picture downloaded to my palmtop computer (PDA) while I was tucked up in a sleeping bag in the back of my X-trail on a freezing cold night on Gower, South Wales!

Mushy said...

What a wonderful exchange of blessings! Thanks...I needed that one.

If only we could further communicate with those which we share our planet...we'd be in heaven then wouldn't we!?

CHEWY said...

Calling Dr. Dolittle.

...speak and squeak and squawk with the animals...

Robert said...

Shrinky that is the best part of the day for me..I have been up at that hour for so many years I can't sleep in even if I wanted to..there has been many a morning on the road where I sat in the middle of nowhere with a coffee and watched a beautiful scene as the sun came up..

Les Becker said...

Augh! I'm so jealous - I want to have "wake up at 4:30 am" problems. Lately, I can't seem to get out of bed at all - just when I can least afford such a thing.

If it should happen, though, I won't be inviting any pigeons to perch on my hand - the only birds around this block - unless, that is, I decide that a squab in the hand is better than starving...

Scott from Oregon said...

Just jumped right on?

Wow.

I think I'd be losing sleep over that one.

Helena said...

OH WOW!!!!!!!!!

You are very privileged indeed! The goldcrest is Europes's tiniest bird- just 3.5inches beak to tail! WOW!

I often wakeup early, or be up all night, if the depression's stirring. I can slip into being nocturnal if I'm not careful.

Whether I sleep or not I'm up padding about when my partner gets up for work, about 6.45am. We have tea and I go out to distribute various types of food for the birds around the garden.

"our" robin had started to get very close to me and came when I call, but he hasn't doneso for about a fortnight now :^(

I would love to get him to take his suet chips from my hand!

This must have been a magical experience for you!

Shrinky said...

Maalie, my friend, never apologise for a free tutorial - we are the lucky ones to be able to pick your brains where it comes to things such as this!

Crumbs, you do suffer for your love. I hope you remembered to pack a few hot water bottles and a good flask of whisky to bring along?

Shrinky said...

Yes Mushy,

We could learn a lot from our fellow creatures, couldn't we?

Shrinky said...

Hello Chewy,

I squack and squeak all the time, just ask anyone who knows me (smile).

Shrinky said...

Yes Robert, sometimes it helps to get a jump on the day and take a little time out to unclutter the mind. It's too easy to forget to stay still every once in a while.

Shrinky said...

Haha! oh Les,

I've served my time too, hon. A few years ago I was boxed in London, I guess that's why I appreceiate where I am now so much. I made a promise to myself when I moved here I would never allow myself to take it for granted.

Shrinky said...

Actually scott, now that you mention it.. Sheesh, cheers big fella' - now it's back to the sleepless nights for me again. (Sigh)

Shrinky said...

Helena,

That robin of yours sounds a very special friend to have around. I do hope you are sleeping through alright now, much as it's a treat to see the sunrise, catnaps are no replacement for a replenishing nights sleep.

I've never seen this little chappie since, although I have looked for him (probably always will now).

The Hermit said...

Sounds like a scene from the Wind in the Willows there at your place. Peaceful.

katydidnot said...

sounds lovely. but, um, 4:30? yikes.

Shrinky said...

Truth be told, the Hermit, it does it for me. I love never locking my doors. In my last home our local shop was held up at shotgun three times in less than three months (and we lived in a GOOD area), barely more than a few yards from where my babies slept.

Shrinky said...

Hi Katydidnot,

Yeah, there lies the road to madness - believe me! I never need much sleep, but that was getting ridiculous.

Suldog said...

Beautiful post. You were most certainly blessed.

I adore the early morning hours of a day off. Peaceful, a cup of fresh-brewed coffee, a cigarette, maybe the newspaper. Doesn't take much to please me, I guess, but it's my idea of Heaven.

Mary said...

Now that is pure joy! I would be beside myself. I had a stretch of time during the good weather where i awoke very early and took to having my coffee outside. It's really a magical time.

Shrinky said...

Hey Suldog,

Yeah, I forgot to mention my breakfast with my cuppa' (I need an early morning fag to kick my lungs into action, too)!

Ahhh, the simple deadly pleasures in life, eh?

Shrinky said...

Hi Mary, so good to see you again! Yeah, I've looked every day for that little guy, but either he has since long gone, or I simply don't get up early enough for him thesedays..

Gawdess said...

fantastic, lovely!

BRUNO said...

Good Lord, no wonder he didn't fly off---looks like a bird-version of ME! What've you been feedin' him---steroids?

Nah, really---even an "old-crust" like myself enjoys birds---even flowers!(but not in public!)

I could write a hundred different short-stories on humorous bird encounters. But I won't start it.

And the only call of nature that'll get me outta bed at 4:30 a.m.---well, I won't bother to put it in print for you, dear lady...!

Meggie said...

Found you by way of David McMahon. What a great story about the bird. I can certainly understand why you may have thought you were dreaming...right before dawn. So glad you are now able to sleep thru the night.

Shrinky said...

Hi Gawdess,

thanks for stopping by!

Shrinky said...

Oh Bruno, you do make me laugh!

Shrinky said...

Hey Meggie,

Thanks for letting me know how you came by, good old David, huh? Nice to meet you, I look forward to visitng your site.

John-Michael said...

An enchanting and altogether stirring tale. With thanks to the spirit created by your tender telling, and gifted conclusion, "it is well with my soul."

San said...

What a lovely, portentous occurrence, Shrinky! I agree--your winged messenger was bearing a sleep potion prescribed by Someone.

Sleep tight and dream well...

Rachelle said...

Oh BOY!!! I'm doin the happy dance.....
(picture Snoopy on top of Schroder's piano)
:))))
Yup, you made my day by coming back my friend.
Slainte~
Rachelle

david mcmahon said...

Hope you're slumbering well.

By the way, guess who went out yesterday and bought a 300mm lens!!!

Way-hey!!!!

Maithri said...

This gives me chills,

Angels are everywhere...

Animals are so close to God...their hearts are pure...to be visited by one in such an intimate way is a reflection of the beauty in you,

Love and laughter,

M

skinnylittleblonde said...

Awwww....Awesome!
I don't know if it is true or not, but they say birds have incredible memories & they like to revisit places they have been before. Maybe this time next year, you will get to see him again!

Shammickite said...

OOO er, what a marvellous experience. I bet that little goldfinch was just busting to tell all his friends about you, just like you told all your friends about him!

Linda G. said...

Wow! That's like a gift from Mother Nature. :)

Putz said...

shrinky, you have included us all in your"wise" categorgy and it is apprecated<>><<>i have specific bird friends since i spend a lot of time outdoors <><>i have however mever have had one sit in my hand<>><what an angel indeed

Shrinky said...

Isn't it just, Linda?

Shrinky said...

Hi Putz, aw, you are VERY wise indeed, my friend!

Shrinky said...

Haha, now there's a thought, Shammickite..!

Leah J. Utas said...

Wonderful story, and what a gorgeous bird.

MarkD60 said...

Once I was playing disk golf and a bird landed on my foot. It was cool, but not as cool as your bird!
Thanks for visiting!

missing moments said...

What a terrific picture and even a better narrative of the event! I'm glad you dropped by my place and I'm looking forward hanging out here!

Chef Green said...

That's positively incredible. What a beautiful experience--I wish we could talk, I'd tell you about the day the bees came to land on my mother's fingers, and how she gave me their Gift.

Barbara Shallue said...

Now you've given me a smile to wrap around my heart. I'm so glad you re-posted this since I missed it the first time. What an incredible, magical encounter! (I, too, love those silent moments right at dawn, inside and out of the house, although I confess I hate actually waking up that early!)

Pierre BOYER said...

Lovely...

Pierre
http://pierre-boyer.blogspot.com/