In Chronology
Despite the very real worries and grief, one of the absolute delights of lockdown for so many of us was listening to the birds singing.
I live in a city, near a dual carriageway, but have worked hard over the years to make my fairly small garden one that is welcoming to birds and other wildlife, and this spring it seemed to explode!

 As the weather improved, I sometimes sat outside the back door for my online meetings and it was wonderful watching a whole variety of different birds, busily collecting twigs and bits of grass for their nests  People would often comment on the birdsong they could hear when I took myself off mute and I’m not alone in this: in one meeting, every time a particular man went to speak, we could hear a cuckoo calling loudly in the background.

Birds are amazing creatures and our world is full of an incredible variety. One of my favourites is the Bassian thrush from Australia which hunts by directing its farts at piles of leaves, making the worms move around so the thrush can see where they are!

Closer to home, I’ve been reflecting on the sparrows and robins that share my garden with me (one particular robin likes to spread out his wings and lie down in a patch of leafy soil near where I sit, and sunbathe). You may well know this little ditty by Elizabeth Cheney:

Said the robin to the sparrow,
‘I should really like to know,
Why these anxious human beings
Rush about and worry so.’

Said the sparrow to the robin,
‘Friend I think that it must be,
That they have no Heavenly Father,
Such as cares for you and me.

As you look at the birds around you, I hope you might let them remind you how much your heavenly Father cares for you and will provide for you. It is a good thing indeed to consider the birds of the air.

Dr Ruth Valerio is Director of Global Advocacy and Influencing at Tearfund.  This month’s reflections draw on her book Saying Yes to Life, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book 2020, which explores the creation narrative of Genesis 1.  Find out more here