Photo: from our calendar The night We Lost Our Marbles by Michael Leunig, a modern day prophet, where I understand ‘prophet’ to be one who challenges us to remember our core values.
Loosing our marbles
“We not only listen to the birds but find ourselves talking to them.”
Turning the calendar has its own monthly ritual.
Our Leunig calendar always gives us a surprise
often prophetic for our time.
Turning to October was no exception.
It gave us a laugh.
We resonated. It looked how we felt
on our walks in lockdown
birds, fish, flowers moon our companions.
It was while sitting against
the trunk of a swamp oak
on a lockdown walk
we found ourselves both talking aloud
to the Pied Butcher Birds
that had flown down to join us.
A family of seven
some with the distinctive black bib
some more tawny and freckkly
which according to Morcombo –
our Bird Bible –
is the juvenile and poetically
They hopped around
inquisitive about us relaxing
in their territory.
Besides watching them
dart for insects on the open grass
we enjoyed a choir on a branch above
its musical four-note sequence
lilting flute-like deep and mellow.
The laugh was on us.
listening to the birds
believing they were communicating with us
thinking we were understanding
and talking back to them
Are we happily loosing our marbles?
Now we talk to every bird that comes to meet us –
the willy wag tails our companions on the way
the tiny wrens we chirping
and sometimes catch their splash of blue
the magpies that warble along our track
their carolling a rings from high
to low, deep and always tidings of joy.
We love the lake birds
find the haunts of the white-faced herons
watch their monk like shoulders
ponder quietly as if pretending to pray
but actually with the great white egret
stalking to prey.
If our spoonbills call in
with their bevy of ducks
we become very effusive
and enjoy the plovers
telling us to be aware of their eggs
and their young.
We wait for the whip birds to sing
listen and laugh with its song of reply.
Loosing our marbles figuratively
gives us permission
to be immersed in their world
like the cartoon of the two
surrounded by nature.
Humbly we know we are a very small
and incidental part of their world
yet secretivly a little part
likes to think they are communication with us.
and loosing our marbles stays figurative.
Life isn’t measured
by the number of breaths we take
but by the moments
that take our breath away
Treasure every day