In Greek mythology, the sparrow was the familiar of Aphrodite, goddess of beauty and love. Though sparrows are known to be sexually prolific birds, the symbolism reflects true love rather than lust. In Indonesian cultures, sparrows mean good luck in love, relationships, and often signify an upcoming wedding or engagement; a woman who sees a sparrow around her home in the month of February is thought to find happiness marrying a poor man. In a similar vein, the New Testament refers to sparrows as offerings from the poor, but also, as a symbol that, no matter how small or insignificant a life, God recognizes you. And, even if it's taking a little time, the Universe will inevitably send you wings.
Ancient Egyptians saw the sparrow as guardians of the soul, their wings swiftly carrying a person's #Light to heaven. Sparrows were popular amongst sailors for this same reason. Interestingly, these little brown-feathered souls have been forced to sacrifice their own to save others. The urban legend connecting sparrows to a bad omen or death comes from the use of sparrows, and other small birds, like canaries, in determining the safety of a mine. Before humans would descend into the earth to dig at a particular site, a sparrow would be placed in a cage and lowered into the hole. Once brought back to the surface, if the sparrow was found dead, it was a sign that anyone who followed would die as well.
Brings new meaning to the phrase, "Don't kill the messenger"....
Sparrows also represent the throat and heart chakras. Their energy is meant to help open our hearts and let us sing. Finding a dead sparrow at your home means that, by dying there, the bird's final act was releasing its #Light--its energy-- to you so you might find your freedom by opening your heart to the song of #Love. It is also a symbol of evolution or change, like the ending of an unhealthy love relationship and the beginning of something even more beautiful.
Here in Atlanta, I had a sparrow-friend who would serenade me every morning from his perch on a patio chair that once sat outside of my bay window. He was such a jaunty, brave fellow, I named him Jack the Sparrow. Jack was looking for his lost friend. That lost friend was once someone I cared for, too.
The memory of Jack and his friend sitting together outside, visiting, was a pleasant one. When our shared connection disappeared three months ago, Jack never stopped looking. He'd hop all around the chair, as if searching for a sign of his play-mate. When Jack could find nothing and no one, he'd finally rest his feet at the very top, facing the kitchen window. Jack would then call out in song. Almost like a child coming to the door, asking for his companion to come out and play.
On Tuesday, February 24th, I was sad to find a very similar looking sparrow lying dead in front of my house. Very carefully, I picked up my loyal, feathered friend, found a quiet spot, and buried him. After hiding his grave with pine needles. I said the Mourner's Kaddish, a Hebrew prayer that helps a soul find its way home. A tear began to roll down my cheek as I remembered my fallen friend(s), sitting on the front porch in the chair Jack used to perch on in song--the same chair our shared companion sat in so regularly, the seat bindings were frayed--gazing wearily into the sunset.
My losses, too numerable to mention, swelled like the ocean in my chest. I caught a sob in my throat, threatening release, as the world turned fuzzy at the edges. My eyes were beginning to leak and panic seized my sorrowful heart. Just then, another sparrow landed at my feet. He crooked his head to the side to look at me, taking me in. After a few moments, he flew to the roof edge nearby to see me from another angle. He issued several chirps in my direction before flying southwest to join his mate. The two danced and sang together for a few moments in joyful reunion before making love. I imagined with a smile that the loyal couple had a nest nearby. And perhaps, by spring, it would be full of fluffy, fat, chirping chicks....
As the pale sky turned intense shades of pink and orange behind the lofty pines outlined by the #Georgia sunset, my mind circled around the sad emptiness of my own nest. It made me wonder if my sparrow friends were deliverying a message. Though I no longer carried new life inside me, if I opened my heart and sang, a new beginning was sure to follow.
Now that you've heard that same song, dear readers, #Hope and #Healing may be yours one day, too.