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Tui. (Pronounced too-ee)
One of my favourite birds., Handsome - their magical feathers which in most lights seem dull are full of all the magic of a peacock's colours without the showiness.
Playful, skilful flyers it is hard to say what makes them so special but it is possibly for me their voice; the magical sound of home.
They have dialects apparently. Tuis from where I live sound different to tuis in other parts of the country. They speak in dialects. Dialects of joy. They learn to mimic other birds and humans (I have even heard one ring like a telephone) They are alive to the world they live in.
Can you imagine what the world would be like if humans played and sang their own song at the top of their voice and flew wildly - dancing with the sweetness of fresh nectar coursing through their blood. Allowing their beauty to be just an incidental part of themselves, not something they strove for or obsessed over. If they sought out that which nourished them and were alive with the joy of it all. Can you imagine?
Today I saw a Tui on the road. Dead, feathers glinting in the sun, ruffled slightly by the breeze.
I had to stop. There was no way I could leave that beauty there to get ground into the tarseal. I have gloves in the glovebox so I can move roadkill (to help stop the Kahu or hawk getting hit) and so I turned around, donned my gloves and lifted that beauty off the road.
It was still soft in my hands. But gone. Already that exuberant heart had stopped beating. I imagined it's misjudged swoop across the road and into the path of an unwilling car.
I sent a message to its soul and carried the beautiful shell of it home with me. Willow and I laid it to rest near the flax that it loves so much. But before I did I took these photos... revel in the beauty with me. It is all so very fleeting. And all the more glorious because revelling in it while it is here makes it more real, more generously shared and more powerful.