Flying. On Sunday with Sparrow.

Sunday morning. 6:15 a.m. Driver is racing down I-95 in light traffic. What’s the rush?

Destination: JFK. On Sunday.

There is something unpleasant at its core about cutting your weekend in half, to fly across the country to get to a conference kick-off on Sunday evening. My weekend (Not). A large paddle wheeler, turning, turning, turning, wooden paddles slapping against the water, pausing briefly when the rhythm is broken by a swell.

There’ll be no sleeping in. No lounging in bed. No CBS Sunday Morning with Jane. There’ll be no Sunday morning papers. No pancake breakfast. No Netflix binge watching. No dozing off on the couch under the comforter, windows open, strands of cool breezes welcoming Autumn.

Thoughts alternate between irritation (did you really need to commit to attend this conference) to mild irritation (you could have left on Monday) to resignation (make the best of it pal, a commitment is a commitment).

I open my backpack, pull out my iPad, and find it’s 13% charged. No! No! No! I Swear I plugged this thing in last night. I walk around Gate 24, and then 25 and find an open power outlet at Gate 26.

I close my eyes, holding the iPad on my lap, the jagged, lightening image symbol signals that it’s charging. Electric current pulsing, electricity generated by some giant Hydro Electric dam in Quebec, and God knows how, it’s shot down hundreds of miles of transmission lines every second to New York City – feeding juice to my device. Miracle. All of it.

Eyes closed, Ears pick up a gentle tap. And then another. I lift my eyelids. And there it is. 3 feet in front, down at my feet.

A sparrow.


Hop. Hop. Hop.

It pecks away at crumbs, remnants of a bagel, a croissant or a Subway sandwich from the night before. It lifts its head, steals a glance at me, and with two flaps of her wings, she’s gone. A puff.

You’ve seen this moment. You have.

We’re sitting on the runway. “7 planes in front of us before take off. Some rough weather over Indiana and then we should have clear skies. Flight time is 5 hours and 18 minutes.”

I shift in my seat, restless, I start to surf. I’ve seen that moment. S-p-a-r-r-o-w.

And first it was Ted Kooser: “Just now, a sparrow lighted on a pine bough right outside my bedroom window and a puff of yellow pollen flew away.”

But that wasn’t it…not exactly it…

And then it was Kim Beyer-Johnson: “How small / How perfect / The feathered chest of The Sparrow / Ruffled and ready / If I could hold her in my palm…/ I might be able / To Fly.”

That’s it.

If I could hold her in my palm.

And I do.

And I fly…


  • Inspiration by Marcus Aurelius in Meditations: “Some things are rushing into existence, others out of it. Some of what now exists is already gone. Change and flux constantly remake the world, just as the incessant progression of time remakes eternity. We find ourselves in a river. Which of the things around us should we value when none of them can offer a firm foothold? Like an attachment to a sparrow: we glimpse it and it’s gone. And life itself: like the decoction of blood, the drawing in of air. We expel the power of breathing we drew in at birth (just yesterday or the day before), breathing it out like the air we exhale at each moment.”
  • Sparrow Photo: Saltydorkling
  • Commuting Series


  1. Sounds like a “Grasshopper” moment. Happy trails.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. As I read your post I am watching CBS this morning with Jane. It’s a good one, if you can’t find a way to watch, I’ll tell you all about it when you get home – lots of “Grasshopper” moments.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you, David. I hadn’t known of the Marcus Aurelius quotation. As insightful as your reflection. We move much too quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Amazing!! … “Just now, a sparrow lighted on a pine bough right outside my bedroom window and a puff of yellow pollen flew away.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. montanalulu says:


    Liked by 1 person

  6. Delicious, Dave.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Poor little bird in all that cement. Nice that it gave you a “lift.”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’d been wondering if I should paint my little birds as sparrows…thanks so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. 💕💝💓


  10. and someone sitting, waiting, watching, you, saw you tapping on your iPad, and like that! Poof! you were gone.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. To the seeing eye life is mostly Sparrows. Will Cuppy
    I know I never was (or will be) an eagle, I’m quite happy with the sparrows landscape…..
    Great article. Not so great Sunday! Have at least a good week!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Nature has a way to pull us back to this moment and appreciate there are still miracles to be seen! Amazing little visitor for you. ✈️

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Those little moments that just make everything beautiful for a moment…
    Darn it…can’t watch two of the videos but now most definitely want to see “Final Portrait”!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I keep hoping the sparrow finds an exit to the outdoors..

    Liked by 1 person

  15. We all need time to REST and recharge. Those weekend rituals really do matter (mine is Saturday NPR, 3 newspapers in print.)

    Liked by 1 person

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