I don’t want him to ever feel he has been captured. He should be free, free to fly and flutter around life. He is exquisite. He has coloured my life with beautiful shades of delight. Why should he feel caged?
He found me on my own one still night. It was a dark autumnal evening, yet strangely warm after a day of sunshine infusing warmth into the soil. He found me heartbroken, lonely and lost. He fluttered down and was kindly and gentle. He took my hand in his. He said later he had decided to ask me out for a drink. But the drink never came. Instead, the next morning we had breakfast together.
He came back again that evening, late into the night. I already knew by then he would come and go, flutter into my life and then fly away again. Had I known the waves of exhilaration and despair his flighty ways would cause me, I am not sure I would have started down this path.
A week later I was at home and he came to me. He had wanted to come the night before, but so late I felt I had to say no. What would people think? A goldfinch at that time of night. What one does away from home under the umbrella of anonymity is not acceptable where everyone knows your name and has a preconception of your faultless judgement. He was probably annoyed that after coming so far, I wouldn’t let him through my window.
The next day Goldfinch fluttered by after I had finished work. He flew in and sang to me. The song of a goldfinch who is unshackled and inspired by life and pleasure. He kept me warm and quite intoxicated by his song. He stayed close. He woke me with his song. I fed him in the morning with what I remembered him pecking at the week before. He seemed grateful. He was chirpy, and he perched on my finger-tips sounding out his melodic notes into my ear.
We took a walk, goldfinch nestled into my shoulder playing with my hair. We breathed in autumn air – smoky, dank, mournful and admired autumn haze – gold, crimson, bronze. Goldfinch let me purge my soul. I related what may have been causing pain. He let me tell him stories of my life before, so he knew the lady he was now bringing cheer and comfort to, had previously been full of… what do they call it?… “joie de vivre”. Only now she was in shreds. Goldfinch was quiet but kindly. Goldfinch sang lullaby like tunes and danced around me.
Goldfinch came back to my own little nest again. Goldfinch and I were gazing into each other’s eyes with affection and fascination.
The next morning Goldfinch had to flutter back to where I found him. A three-hour journey. It was a bitterly cold morning and we walked half an hour to the station. There were leaves on the track, so the trains were not running. I just wanted to cling to Goldfinch, but I had to help him find another way home. We huddled together keeping warm until the moment I had to part with him. My heart sore as I watched him fly away.
And so, for the next few months he would come… often late into the night, (in reality, the early hours of the next morning) and he would sing, he would sing beautiful melodies to me. He coloured and comforted and cheered my life and melted my pain. Oh Goldfinch, he could sing and warm my heart.
I would love to have had Goldfinch always there singing to me. But, I would have had to have kept him in a cage. Goldfinch needed to fly, to soar up into the sky and explore and come back to me full of inspiration and excitement. Goldfinch was never going to be able to be an encaged creature loyal to one besotted owner. Goldfinch needed his freedom.
Goldfinch needs to fly… far far away. 10,100 miles away. He is not going to come back.
Goodbye Goldfinch. Thank you, Goldfinch, for being so wonderful to me.