There it was, broken, in the corner of the garden by the shed. As though carefully looking for something misplaced, it paced out, in ever decreasing circles its passing. Like a clockwork toy running down, it ran out, paused briefly and died.
The Blackbird had flown into the centre of our lounge window. The sound, part dull thud, part deep reverberation, startled me from my LEGO. I had no knowledge of such a sound at five years old. No context with which to understand or process. So I walked, in my Buck Rogers pajamas, to the window.
Reaching up I could just about trace the outline of the angel. I didn’t know exactly what this would mean for us as I had only recently started Sunday school and had only recently heard of angels but I suspected it wasn’t a good thing.
There may well be an injured angel in the garden.
I quickly slipped on my matching slippers and ran outside to find it.
It was gone! I searched our small garden, until finally in the corner, I found the angel made flesh. It was the first time I’d seen something die and seen how fragile life was. I picked up the Blackbird in both hands and felt the warmth of it, how soft it was, how perfect.
The feathers were black but not like any black I had seen before. My black pens and pencils seemed grey somehow compared to this and the orange of his beak seemed to shine even in the shade. I placed the Blackbird on the corner of the lawn at opposite side of the garden to which I found it. In its last moments the Blackbird sought out the shade. I placed it, in the low winter sun, now reaching out over the house.
Unknown to me then but in a few months time, Napoleon, my guinea-pig would die. The angel that flew into our lounge window that day, in some strange way, would make this easier to understand.
Paul C Siebenthal is a 42 year-old Aspie who was diagnosed at 25. Started blogging and tweeting last year as Aspienaut, working for NASA (New Autism Spectrum Awareness). He is passionate about creativity and helping young people on the spectrum to see just how amazing they are and how great it can be to be Wired Differently.