The post I wrote just before this one reminded me of one of the most magical moments in my life. It was a moment of the fading of reality’s harsh lines – I was granted a small glimpse of heaven and a memory that would stay with me forever.
A few days before leaving my beloved Swaziland to move to Australia, we were packing and boxes were piling up in ever room. It was a very sad time, my heart felt like lead – I had to leave what I held most dear behind to a future in which I could not guarantee safety and care. Such a sadness and burden weighs down heavily on a person’s soul. Here I was in my mom’s room, fetching something when I heard a small flutter and looked up. The tiniest most exquisite little honey-eater had just flown in through an open window. He was the most beautiful sparkling emerald colour with a scarlet collar and perfectly arched beak. I was worried that he would get hurt and fly into the window or get tired from trying to find his way out, so I reached up to try to shoo him out. Instead of retreating, he flew a few times around my outstretched arms and then, with no fear or worry, alighted like a whisper on my hand. Such unbelievably tiny feet, like little brown twigs and a shiny eye, so full of wisdom. He sat there for a couple of seconds regarding me with his gentle and intelligent eye and then with a small chirp, he flew straight out the window, not even thinking twice about where to go. It must have been a little promise of hope from above.
And the amazing thing is that every time I go back to Swaziland to visit – I have a little interlude with a honey-eater. In 2010 I was sitting on a veranda painting, having the day off from training horses to visit a friend. It was quiet and very peaceful, the only sound was the wind playing in the tall trees. I felt rather than heard and turning around in my seat I saw, not two feet away, another little honey-eater sitting there considering me with that familiar look. I felt honoured and so grateful to have experienced that amazing moment again. But that was not the last. Not a year later, I was walking through a paddock leading a horse after a ride when a small bird swept right in front of me to sit in a tiny tree right next to me. I stopped and looked at it – and would you believe it – it was an emerald honey-eater. He chirped a few times, listened to my attempted reply and with the usual shiny eye set on my face, we enjoyed each other’s company for a few moments. Then, just as quickly as he had come, he was gone.
Little moments of Heaven.