Sunday, August 4, 2013


This photograph, titled "Sanctuary", is of a tree at the zoo that is hung about with some 15-20 weaver bird nests. Weaver birds, small black-and-yellow birds related to sparrows, build and "weave" these round gourd-shaped nests.

The tree is standing in the middle of the cheetah enclosure, which seems a little strange to me. Of course in the zoo cheetahs are kept well fed, and they'd go for much bigger prey than little weaver birds, but the idea of tiny sparrow-like birds living so close to those big, wild hunters is still unnerving. And yet there they were, living peacefully in their woven nests.

When I saw the weaver birds' tree, the word "sanctuary" popped in my mind immediately. That tree with nests hanging down from its branches is a safe haven where those birds can live at peace, despite being surrounded by cheetahs.

It made me think about people. People can live in the midst of a lot of stress and danger, but without some sort of safe haven, they won't last long. So people go to certain places, or to other people, or things, or religion. Any of those sanctuaries can be lost or torn apart, just like the woven bird nests, but it's enough to keep a person alive and give them some sort of strength and hope. Like those weaver birds living among cheetahs, everyone needs a peaceful sanctuary they can call home.

May you find a sanctuary as peaceful, safe, and well-woven as mine, and may it always protect you from the cheetahs.

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