Friday 6th October
I like today's date.
This week of bright sunny clear blue golden days, the cold snap started. I put on the fire and put out the first of the bird seed and peanuts. It takes a few days for word to get round, but this morning I saw a young robin, bobbing and singing. So sweet and so red, so smooth, not a feather ruffled. His first few months of adult life. I was sad to read they only live for nine months. They must learn to come back where their ancestors went. Sacred ground. Indigenous to families of robins. Although they are a solitary bird and fierce fighters if roused. Perhaps they are adventurers, seeking far flung gardens where there may well be dragons, but also the chance of seedy treasure and the four free winds under your wings.
Got carried away then.
My favourite story as a child was a story of why a robin has a red breast.
Once upon a time, they used to be brown as caked mud. Teased about their drab looks by the other birds, they became shy and got up early to avoid them while looking for breakfast worms. One day a robin heard the fairy queen crying, and was so kind-hearted he couldn't bear it, so plucked up all his courage to ask her what was wrong. She had lost her wand, which of course, he found for her, ignoring the teasing from the other tardy birds, now up and not interested in helping anyone but themselves.
When the fairy queen got her wand back, she kissed the robin.
He blushed. Not just his cheeks, but his throat, his breast. Deep red. The fairy queen waved her wand and told him,
"How handsome you are robin. Henceforth", (fairy queens speak like that it's compulsory) "all robins will have a red breast to remind the world that it doesn't matter what you look like if you have a kind heart".
I think of kind hearts every time I see a robin. And of how I loved that book. Except the fairy queen had a blue dress. Everybody knows fairy queens wear pink.
Robins seem so curious and will hop closer to check you out if you ever get off your arse and get out into the garden again to do more than hang out washing.
I wonder if this wee robin's experience of the world, a bird table full of seeds and peanuts, makes him a happier robin than one in a garden where nobody puts out seeds. If he thinks now, like I do living in the West, how sweet life is.
The Harvest moon tonight is huge. 12% huger to be exact, as the moon is near perigee - the nearest point to the Earth in it's lopsided orbit. It wants to come back in, but can't. It would be a backward step. Move on.
I've been reading 'The Seas Around Us'. Conscious that it's a history book now and may have been disproved by boring scientists with no romance in their souls, but I love the story of how the moon was created.
And insist that it's true.
When the earth was young and molten, but cooling, the forces of the sun pushed and pulled the pliable surface into higher waves and deeper troughs. Pulsing the orb like a lava lamp, roller coaster of surface rock and molten iron underneath. But the Earth wanted to be here and stay where she was, fulfil her destiny and not rejoin the Sun.
Eventually, the cusp of the wave grew to such a mass that it broke free, ruptured from the molten earth. Then, unavoidably embraced by the forces of physics, became a sphere itself. In it's mother's image. Nearby. In it's own orbit. The moon.
The cleft of the Pacific, the stretchmark it left.
Born of waves, pulling waves and tidal flows ever since. The pulse of the moon. All things in motion. It's the natural state. The Word. There is no void. Just ebb.
Why do we make ourselves so miserable fighting the flow?