I awoke one morning a few days ago, to find the world outside my window had turned white, but it wasn’t the snow we had been promised. A thick frost lay over everything and a mist crawled slowly along the ground like a predatory animal. A perfect picture postcard.
I was up early and had the house to myself. I was feeling so much better this week, so I sat down at my desk to write. That was when I discovered that this part of my brain was refusing to function, and was as cold and empty as the scene outside my window…
We did finally get some snow.
I say some rather scathingly because although the signs were promising and the initial snowfall encouraging, it fizzled out and stopped far too soon, leaving meagre patches here and there.
The temperature fell to bone-chilling depths, increasing my daily trips down the garden to make sure our feathered visitors had enough to eat.
It was after one of these trips, as I sat at my window and watched these lively little creatures happy to feast on the seeds and fat balls hanging from my favourite tree, that I began to think about their lives. They were so incredibly small and delicate; how do they keep warm all night in the bitter cold?
Where do they sleep?
I felt the cold, in the safety of my home. Even with extra layers and thick warm socks. My mind was full of images of all those small, huddled scraps of feathers, spending each night roosting in a hedge while the temperature fell to the floor.
Worrying about them all was beginning to keep me awake at night, fearing the worst. However, the next morning, the same jolly crew appeared, unaffected by having survived one of the coldest nights for years.
They are just like us, each with a tiny heart and blood. Flesh and bone covered with an inadequate supply of feathers. We wouldn’t survive out there, so what supernatural force keeps them safe in conditions that would kill you or me?