Birds (and Beasts) Of A Feather

Birds (and Beasts) Of A Feather


The Christmas season has well and truly begun – with all the pantomime gusto of a ‘slap-a-my-thigh’..and of people clinging onto some sense, and a sense of humanity, in a year lacking in either..tradition being a – well, traditional, now I come to think of it – way of making sense out of chaos.

For the life of me I can’t begin to make sense of a world that didn’t learn a lesson from a past as devastating as that of two world wars. Anyway – even if our ‘goose is well and truly cooked’..the onslaught of Christmas has hit the high street – and as usual it divides the have/have-nots, the I love Christmas-ers’ and it’s haters.


Personally I love it – that is – what it means to me. Which is crisp leaves underfoot, collecting long branches of fir on frosty walks, multi-coloured cock pheasants bursting out of the bracken as though pursued by a goshawk – and not the reality, which is a small woman in an ancient, over-sized duffel-coat , and wellies.

I think of the Christmas rhyme: A Partridge In A Pear Tree; with it’s beautiful sing-song repetition of bird names and numbers. As a small child I found it satisfying and reassuring to sing these, over and over, as I kicked my way through piles of frosty leaves – in silent forests where tiny birds flitted to and fro in search of bright berries. I walked hand-in-hand with my mother, and grandparents, in Christmas card scenes made real, smiling to myself.


A ‘Partridge In A Pear Tree’ this post is not. Two horses, two bulls, and a few landscapes do not a christmas-carol make – despite being set in the magical landscapes of this island, Luing. A child’s wonderment does make a Christmas however .. as our children’s wonderment and imagination will make a new world.

I can’t quite make this post fit the rhyme; although my true love did plant me a pear tree this year (along with an apple, damson, cherry, and plum) in which a partridge is very welcome to take up residence if it so desires. I look forward to the day I walk, hand in hand with my nephews, and grandchildren in my orchard.. and in winter’s woodlands. I will look down at their little faces – and warmth will spread from hand to heart – along with hope.


Birds (and Beasts) Of A Feather


About largelyhelen

Designer, photographer, writer.
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