Thursday, June 21, 2012

The song of the magpie

Ok so I've been slack - it's been a while. So many environmentally related days, Rio, it all seems like so much to write on, so much to absorb. So I'll start with something simple.

When I was a kid, we lived in rental houses on farms. Both parents were older and on pensions so they were cheap. In one place there was a huge gum tree (well it seemed huge to me when I was 10 or 11) in which galahs and magpies roosted at nights. I loved watching them settle from a distance; I learned to love Australian fauna.

This morning on the way to the tram stop I heard the familiar warble of a magpie song and looked up to see a young one singing. It is one of the most beautiful sounds in all of creation to my ears. And it struck me. Magpies are not eaten, they are so common few people would reflect upon them and I guess an overseas birdwatcher might not have them at the top of their bucketlist, you can find them in most suburban areas.

Yet, it is their beauty and also apparent ordinariness that reminds me of Psalm 104 (ESV)

16 The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly,
     the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17 In them the birds build their nests;
    the stork has her home in the fir trees.

These creatures live along side of us, independent of us in the sense of not really being for us, or needs or economy and yet God cares for them, they are important to him. They are dependent upon us for the way in which we modify their environment by clearing trees, warming the planet and so on.

Hence, I am reminded of God's care for all he has made, that not all things are simply for me but for his glory and I need to 'live and let live'. Yet also I can enjoy them in a similar way to God, being made in his image.