This morning I awoke to the sound of birdsong…

This morning I awoke to the sound of birdsong drifting through dawn-lit windows

The small, humble things in life offering sustenance in this big, big world

Spring hath sprung…

birdsong, compressed charcoal on paper © p ward 2015birdsong, compressed charcoal on paper © p ward 2015

“Curiously in amongst this plethora of Buddhism there was one token of Christianity – the autobiography of St Teresa of Lisieux. In spite of Tenzin Palmo’s antipathy to the Christian religion in general, she was drawn to the French saint who had entered a Carmelite nunnery when she was just fifteen and who had died at the age of twenty-four. She read her story several times and could quote from it at will.

‘The ironic thing is that the “little way” that she wrote about had nothing to do with the Way that I practiced. What I liked about her, however, was that she was very sensible. She sometimes slept through the church services and it did not worry her that she slept. God would have to accept her as she was! She never worried about her faults so long as her aspiration was right! She had this thing that she was like a small bird scratching around looking for seeds, glancing at the sun but not flying near it. She reasoned that she didn’t have to because the sun was shining even on a small being like a bird. Her whole attitude was very nice. She described herself as “a little flower” by the wayside which nobody sees but in its own self is very perfect as it is. And to me that is her primary message – that even in small, little ways we can be fulfilling our purpose and that in little things we can accomplish much.’[i]

bird, compressed charcoal on paper © p ward 2015bird, compressed charcoal on paper © p ward 2015

hare, compressed charcoal on paper © p ward 2015hare, compressed charcoal on paper © p ward 2015

bird, grass, egg, moon, compressed charcoal on paper © p ward 2015bird, grass, egg, moon, compressed charcoal on paper © p ward 2015

(Drawings from recent experiments with compressed charcoal.)

© p ward 2015


[i] From Cave in the Snow by Vicki Mackenzie, the inspiring true story of how an English woman from the East in of London became a fully ordained Tibetan nun, spending 12 years in isolated meditation in a cave in the Himalayan foothills during the latter half of the 20th Century.

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4 Comments on “This morning I awoke to the sound of birdsong…”

  1. So enjoyed this post Peter… touched my heart as my late father also liked ‘the little flower’ and I havent seen that beautiful quote about her before. And I love the drawings and we are relishing all the birdsong here. My ecology friend says we have more birdsong here in Ireland in January due to all the migrant birds from afar…

  2. Reblogged this on hollywood: stories of transformation from a small Irish forest and commented:
    I’ve just been standing outside watching visiting birds from the continent enjoying the seeds from one of our Alder trees. They work in a chattery team. Some at the top of the tree knock the tiny pine cones to the ground; other birds in the team on the ground have their turn in getting the seeds from the dropped cones. My ecologist friend Faith was telling me we have more birdsong in Ireland at this time of year (in Wintery February) due to all these overseas visitors.

    I came inside to find Pete’s blog post below. Peter is a fellow art and ecology artist and educator I met a few years ago. I thought you all might enjoy this post about ‘birdsong’, the ‘little flower’ and ‘small, little ways’ we can introduce change. Pete’s drawings are all made from natural local materials; he grinds his own charcoal and pigments to sensitively reflect on the area in which he lives with others, birds included.

  3. I love birds too and our first songs have not yet happened at the time of this writing. It does lift the spirit and fills one with anticipation to the year in front of us.

  4. Lovely drawings and some inspiring spirituality.


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