Our sparrows did not return this year. Their little brown house is empty and still. Only the wind shakes it now.

Last year at this time they were busy caring for their young. She, flying off to find food, and he, standing guard outside, darting off when she returned.

I wonder about them, the generations they hatched and raised while we looked on. And I wonder about their offspring, all grown now, and where they have settled, if they’ve found a shelter as secure as the one we provided for their parents.

Sparrows mate for life. But, it’s easy to get complacent, forget that things change, and sometimes, all we know is upended.


In high school, I opted for a class in Earth Science rather than Physics.

That year, I learned to recognize cloud and rock formations, and sat aghast as the teacher explained that earthquakes and volcanoes are constructive forces. How could that be? Surely, he had to be mistaken, considering the devastation, loss of property and life that came from such upheavals. But, no, he said. From a geological standpoint, these seismic shifts and eruptions are the earth’s way of adjusting, releasing pressure, remaking itself.


As millions fall prey and succumb to a novel pathogen, I struggle to remind myself that what seems devastating may also have the power to force long overdue adjustments and remodeling in thought and habit. I struggle hard.


The sparrows we grew to love and expect every spring will not be back. But a lilac bush, which seeded on our front lawn, is flourishing.

Everything has changed.

“The earth spins, cells divide, souls entwine…
…we grieve and grieve and somehow live again.”
(From an untitled work in progress.)

©2020 All Rights Reserved

10 thoughts on “Change

  1. So sorry to hear about your sparrows. It is amazing that we get so attached to birds that return each year. For us, we watch for the brief time when cedar waxwings visit, eating all the service berries. The scouts appeared today. We hope they report back that the berries will be ready in June when they come. With such a late spring, weather-wise, I am afraid they will not. At least we saw these, and maybe, just maybe one of us got a decent shot of them.

    Change is never easy, especially during this time of upheaval. Stay safe; stay healthy, dear Barbara.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Nan. I know we should feel lucky—they came every year for eight years. But, we do miss them, as they always stayed until the first frost. Your waxwings’ visits are treats. So, too, the scouts’. Enjoy them! And, you, too, dear friend, be safe, and well. xo


    • I agree completely: we NEED a vaccine. It can’t come soon enough.

      I am worried, however (and this was the point of my post), about how we will emerge from this pandemic post vaccine and post successful anti-viral treatments. There is already anti-vaccine propaganda circulating. How many people, do you suppose, who have no legitimate health-related reason to refuse vaccination (indeed, I know many who cannot take them because they are immune compromised), will refuse the new vaccine(s), too? What threat will that pose for the rest of us, who are at high risk for complications from the virus? Or any opportunistic infection, for that matter? What hope can we have for substantial benefit if many in the population don’t care enough about society at large to even put on a mask when they go out in public? If we don’t emerge from this pandemic, post vaccine, at least a little smarter, a little less selfish, a little more adaptable, we may be able to go back to some semblance of business as usual, but without some fundamental changes, we will be in deep trouble down the line.

      Many thanks for reading and commenting. Always appreciate your input, Neil. Let’s keep good thoughts for science AND society.

      Liked by 1 person

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