I took this photograph from my garden attracted by the beauty of the blackbird’s song.  I did not intend to include it in reflections from a place teaming with rare wildlife and dramatic scenery.   But as I was contemplating Exmoor, I realised it sang into the heart of the area.  So, from a sky often filled with the mewing of buzzards, surprised by the diving of kestrels, taken unawares by the stealth of sparrow-hawks and obscured by the darting of swallows, here, on Exmoor, is a blackbird singing its heart out on a telephone wire.  

The scrawny, unspectacular blackbird is beautiful and confident when it is free to sing its own song. Every part of creation that hears stops to listen to this small animal whose voice is compelling and urgent.  Even if it only survives a short while, the blackbird has been in touch with its very essence and has communicated it in song. And creation has stopped in wonder and has become all the richer for listening.

Every human being has a song to sing, insights to offer, gifts to share. It is part of life’s journey for each to find their own voice which is discovered from being in touch with the very heart of who we are. Christians believe that the very heart of who we are is in God’s hands ( sometimes described as being ‘hidden in Christ’) as well as in ours. Creation is enriched when we are free and confident to sing our song and be the person whose source is both deep within us and far beyond us. Creation also becomes more beautiful when we encourage and enable others to sing their songs.

The blackbird on the wire is also a reminder that alongside the wild and dramatic there is the ordinary and unspectacular: beauty and fulfilment can be found there as well. What is required is that we look more intently and listen more carefully.

Contemplating Exmoor – Gallery

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