“One Soft Touch”

An unusual encounter with nature that carried a deep and lasting lesson for life.

| Topics: Nature
Nature can teach us a lot about ourselves. Photo: Anat Schneider

We have countless stunning birds in our yard at home.

The presence of the birds and their magical song add a harmonious tone to my life and a wonderful feeling of connection with nature.

You could say that there is an unwritten agreement between us: The birds keep their distance. I don’t enter their territory, because they immediately fly away and disappear.

And they stand in my garden on the trees and the windows and sing, and even nest and create a new generation.

And so for many years we have been living side-by-side and enjoying each other without interfering. A few days ago I returned from the Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem, with a full cart and many bags.

At the entrance to my house on one of the steps I saw a Blackbird frozen. This is a songbird whose music even Mozart in his genius could not rival.

I was sure that as soon as she saw me coming she would fly away, because that is the agreement between us, as mentioned.

But the bird did not move.

I started bringing the things from the car into the house, back and forth several times. And still the bird didn’t move.

I reasoned that something had happened to her, but what?

Maybe a broken wing? Maybe shock?

I was afraid to get too close, lest she panic. But after a while when she still didn’t move, I decided I must check what happened and if necessary get help.

I slowly approached her, trespassing the agreed upon boundary between us. The bird continued to ignore me, unmoved. It even seemed to me that she was playing dead. I stretched out one finger slowly and caressed her between the eyes gently and softly. I repeated this action several times, with the thought going through my head that I would soon pick her up and check her wings.

The bird suddenly trembled and began to move, then abruptly jumped from step to step, climbing all the way to the entrance of my house before flying away.

I stood pondering at the speed with which one soft touch restored the birds “spirit” and gave her the strength to fly and return to her life.

The well-known Israeli poet Nathan Zach amazed his readers with his writing when he wrote the Hebrew poem “One Soft Touch.”

“We all need kindness, we all need touch” – is one of the lines of the poem.

One soft touch can restore our spirit. When we are going through hardship and feel as though life has ceased, just like the bird… Sometimes all we need is a soft and loving touch, which can restore us to life.

The next day I heard the glorious song of the Blackbird again. And the harmony between me and nature returned to my life.


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2 responses to ““One Soft Touch””

  1. Adam Lotan says:

    ערב טוב, ושבת שלום ענת!
    הכתבה על החוויה עם השחרור ממש נגעה לליבי, ותודה לך עבורה.
    את מזכירה בכתבה את שירו של נתן זך. אינני מצליח לאתר שיר שלו עם הכותר “מגע רך” או “מגע עדין”.

    ?מוכנה להפנות אותי בבקשה לשם השיר
    עוזי לוטן – אירלנד

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