A Flutter Beyond Time


A small flutter in the corner of your vision you turn to peer at the large willow standing sentry just beyond your window. This aged warrior is your favorite tree in the entire yard, for its root trunk is twisted and bent but it still reached ever upwards to a magnificent height. The webbing of bare branches eases your search for the movement.
Ah, just as you thought, a smile grows upon your countenance. The sparrow has returned busying itself preparing a sturdy home. Fragments of the past year are hurled upwards and outwards in rapid succession. His mate lands on the edge and tucks some fresh material into the framework.
Captivated by this mystical dance of remodeling you move from the pulsating blue-white light, which had held your attention most of the day. Weary eyes watch the pair flitter and flutter in a hurried choreography as green buds emerge and expand until the pair is nearly hidden from view. The caress of the wind billows out the full branches giving you long glimpses of their efforts.
You to continue your vigil not questioning whether time is passing through you or whether it is you who is passing through time.
The female sits upon three eggs. The very next gust of wind reveals three healthy fledglings on the verge of taking their first leap of faith. Large rain drops splatter with determination upon the window as you watch the fierceness of the storm whipping the willow branches into a frenzy obscuring your view of the family. This summer has been full of storms but this one, this night certainly will mark your memory. A blinding flash punctuated by a deafening crack ruthlessly severes a large branch. Flames, desperate for life, lick aggressively at the limb but the deluge smothers their efforts.
How could the sparrows have survived this onslaught? You heart pounds in your ears as you wipe away your frantic breath prints from the pane. The carnage strikes horror in your soul as you scan the debris . Night surrenders to day with strong sun rays making your flesh uncomfortable.
There, a fledgling on the ground, both parents are hopping and dancing encouraging their child to use its wings and get off the ground. You release the breath you were not aware you were holding. It was not created to dwell upon the ground, it should not be there, no…it’s life was meant to be lived in the air. White knuckles grasp tightly to the tweed curtains adorning the pattern of panes serving as your vantage point. Silently, you chant your encouragements to the tiny creature. Flapping its wings reveals a twisted mangled wing. Your heart hits your stomach knowing what the parents do not. A pair of interested eyes studies the situation before pouncing to claim its prize. The parents swoop sharply at the head of the creature but it is too late.
Your eyes travel back to the nest as the oval leaves change from a healthy green to a vibrant yellow. A shower of bright yellow flakes are carried from the branches as if the sun were a piñata and had burst open. The nest is empty, the sparrows on their way south. Ice crystals form at the edge of each pane beginning an elegant journey toward the center until a dense filter obscures the form of the willow until it becomes a shadow of what it once was.
Turning, you catch your reflection seeing your mother’s face staring back. Grey tresses have become your glory and deep lines map the struggles you have endured. You reclaim your seat and are drawn back into the blue-white pulsating light. You find a formal document instead of the term paper you had been working on this morning. The cursor blinks at the end of the phrase, “…of sound mind and body hereto bequeath…”.

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10 thoughts on “A Flutter Beyond Time

  1. I just love this. We had a similar pair of yellow-vented bulbul that made a nest at our gardenia shrub three years, hatched three eggs but after a week, we can no longer find them. They never came back. Now every time I see sparrow here at the garden, i think of them and I enjoy listening to their songs.

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    • Dearest Arlene,
      I am so pleased you liked this writing. Nature is incredible at reminding us to slow down and appreciate the world around us. We worry and fret over so much in our lives while birds and other creatures just go about theirs doing what needs to be done without question. We should live by their example, I think. Everything in balance, to a point as I am not an advocate of the mentality supporting “survival of the fittest” among human beings. However, there is so much to be learned just by observation of the creatures within the creation all around us. Gentle hugs to you and do something especially enjoyable for yourself today.

      Liked by 1 person

      • How right you are Tina,you just have to look outside to appreciate what nature has in store. Sometimes, life becomes so busy that we fail to appreciate what is in front of us. Hugs back to you Tina, be blessed always!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Nature has always provided me solace, peace, wisdom, inspiration, curiosity, answers and questions. As it transitions from summer to fall, there are present an abundance of memories and new observations and I love letting my creative side out to play. I had been finding it very hard to write or be creative in any manner but another friend here on WP asked me if I would write something and I told her I would try. It felt good to produce this. It was like putting on a nice warm over sized sweater and curling up with my pups to watch the world outside my window. I owe her my gratitude, for Cecelia has aided me in finding my voice again. Gentle hugs to you my friend and do something kind for yourself today!

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  3. Tina,

    Not only have you created a stirring emotional response in your readers with this entry, but you have given voice to a profound feeling within yourself. I was drawn in immediately by your sumptuous description of the scene, and found myself sharing your abundant concern for the fledgling creatures. You clearly have a keen sense of empathy, and your state of mind prior to observing this scene only becomes clear in the very last line. There are all sorts of hints throughout the story that you are preoccupied by your own mortality and vulnerability, but they only come truly into the light when we discover what it was you were working on in the first place.

    There are often moments in our lives when circumstances prompt us in unexpected ways to consider the consequences and expectations of our life’s journey, and you have shared a rare and profound example of one such moment in your life. We are the richer for it.

    With admiration…..John H.

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    • Dearest John,

      I am humbled and honored by your appreciation of my writing. I am very pleased you found value in it on a personal level! That is what I strive for, to touch another’s soul through my thoughts and words bringing some miniscule comfort, curiosity, or awareness within who they are.

      Contemplating the deeper issues within being human, our perception of time passage and how we, individually, play a part within the parameters our minds have formed to interact with the creation around us gives rise to multilayer questions. Our core beliefs help us to process these life questions that go far beyond where logic and reason leave us. Recognizing our infinitesimal blink of existence viewed through the filter of the mass of all humanity allows us to understand our importance within our own time. Understanding that our importance is not validated or appropriately measured through societal gauges is very important, for societal norms and mores are fully transitory and self-indulgent. Each of us are extremely critical to the outcome of human existence whether we realize it or not, whether we live to our full potential or not. Each decision we make sends humanity down a path that may or may not see ultimate convergence. Nevertheless, We, as individuals, must strive to fulfill our purpose and make the very most of the time we have been given to occupy this very specific space. This is especially true when we come to the realization of this factor.

      Thankfully, we have been given the creative process to aid us along our journeys. It helps me to translate my thoughts and emotions in a congruent manner that can help feed another’s soul. I have to admit I feel great grief for those humans who only choose to interpret this world and each other through small bits of data combined to create the whole. They miss so much and my heart aches for their loss. I am grateful that I have been given a set of tools that aid me translating the suffering and hardship that have been constant, persistent, and tyrannical bed mates of humanity since the inception of time.

      Thank you again for your wonderful words and ability to see the nuances within my work. Be well John and make certain you are gentle and kind to yourself as often as is possible!

      Tina~

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