For years, a pair of magpies have included my house and garden in their domain. They stalk about, finding food; their offspring, incessantly squawking, trail along behind them. They wake me at dawn with their glorious carolling, and call from the trees during the day.
If I am outside, I call back. ‘Loodle-loodle-loodle loo,’ I call, over and over. They never seem to take much notice. The neighbours must think I am crazy.
One sunny day last week, I was walking back from the shops and there on the nature strip, not two metres away, was the male magpie. I stopped.
’Loodle-loodle-loodle-loo,’ I said softly.
He looked up from his foraging, and in a moment, started to sing. His song was very soft, with little trills and calls I had not heard before. I tried to imitate him with poor little whistles, not up to standard. He kept looking directly at me, continuing his lilting warble. Fortunately, no-one else was around!
I decided it was time to move on. I started to stroll the fifty metres to my place, and to my astonishment he kept pace with me, stalking along the grass beside me, a metre and a half away, continuing his gentle calls. I talked, whistled and loodled softly as we proceeded. When we reached my driveway, I told him I had to go. We had another brief exchange, and parted, me so elated at the privilege of participating in a conversation with a magpie!
What had we said? I don’t know, but it was joyous, appreciative, the result of a long friendship. Sweet nothings? Maybe …
A beautiful, unexpected gift.
We all receive so many gifts directly from the natural world around us, whether it is fresh new growth on the trees, the springing into life of our gardens, reflections on the lake, the tweeting of canaries or the love of pets that have accompanied us through these Covid times, giving us warmth, comfort and friendship.
God provides the natural world, from which we are all derived, to continue to be a blessing for us. We in turn are to bless it, to guard it, and praise God’s name for its riches.
This Sunday is St Francis of Assisi Day, when we would normally have the Blessing of the Animals at Little River, an event that normally attracts many from the local district. Sadly, it not possible this year. However, that does not stop us from appreciation and care of the creatures around us, and praising God for them.
Psalm 145 reflects some of this.
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no-one can fathom.
The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made.
The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time.
You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord.
Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever.
Perhaps the magpie and I were singing God’s praises together?
HOLY TRINITY & CHRIST CHURCH WEEKLY REFLECTION
Welcome to our weekly reflection!