About a week ago, while I was preparing lunch at the kitchen counter, with the window slightly open in front me, a sudden flutter surprised me.
About a week ago, while I was preparing lunch at the kitchen counter, with the window slightly open in front me, a sudden flutter surprised me. A small bird with a yellow fluffy belly appeared on top of the compost bin on the windowsill. At first, I panicked. “Oh no no no, you’re gonna get stuck in here, and we’ll have to catch you and bring you outside!” I thought out loud. But the tiny guest, unaware of the tales of silly birds smashing into windows, continued searching for food, quickly found a piece of something he likes in the compost bin, and left - through the window it came from.
Since then, Jean-Jacques, how we later started calling the bird - which I found out is a great tit (Parus major) - regularly comes in our kitchen to forage for food. We prepared a little coconut shell filled with seeds for him: he comes in, looks around, picks what he needs, and flutters away. He even brings two of his young, who wait outside for him to receive our sunflower seeds and walnut crumbs.
These daily visits are brightening up our days in a significant way. Having Jean-Jacques around, singing and fluttering in the kitchen often feels like an unexpected blessing. We feel fortunate - almost chosen. While the US is on fire, the world is clumsily attempting to recover from a pandemic, the global economy is collapsing, and climate change lies in wait, a bird relieves us from the worries of what seems to be the apocalypse - but it is not. If a bird is coming to eat at our windowsill, the world cannot be ending.
Jean-Jacques reminded me of some verses from one of my favourite poems ever written, No title required, by W. Szymborska: “When I see such things I’m no longer sure / that what’s important / is more important than what’s not.”
Donatella Gasparro graduated recently as a master’s student in Organic Agriculture; she hails from Italy. She currently works as a Teaching & Education Coordination Assistant - Farming Systems Ecology.