Tiny, almost an anti-weight, if it blew off my palm in the wind I might not even notice. Dashing against the back porch glass, the bird fell onto logs Iâ€™d stacked there, or rather heaped. I loaded our wood more neatly out in the shed but this jumble of lumber reminded me my life lacked grace.
Wind didnâ€™t kill the bird but misprision. My oldest daughter had just given birth to twins, and I was thinking of them of course when I saw the sparrow. Weâ€™re in a hopeful season. Iâ€™d like to imagine new beginnings, not ponder for instance the self-styled Christian Warriors I heard about lately, devoted to killing police,
to launching Armageddon. They claim these are days of Antichrist, and I could almost agreeâ€”for other reasons. Thou shalt not murder is among the Commandments, Iâ€™d remind the warriors, all nine of whom live in Michigan, a place near hell in this near Depression.
Days are bad worldwide, though in gospel Godâ€™s eye takes in the smallest sparrow. Vile hooligans among us storm over having a president whoâ€™s other than white. Weâ€™re all human, and none of us saved, andâ€”as the old Greek saidâ€” it might have been best if weâ€™d never been born.
And yet to imagine a world devoid of hope is too easy and lazy, I decide. Outside the odors of spring fly in on the wind: damp mulch, old ice, wet mud and sap. The sugar-makers hope for a few more gallons, hope for a few more years, to be with my children. I open the stove, sweep the bird in.