the olive tree’s secret

It was the morning of my hardest exam for the semester. It was supposed to start at 8:30am and I was sick to my stomach with nerves. I kept having one of those I’m-going-to-miss-my-exam or forget-my-notes or my-pen-isn’t-going-to-work dreams, so in the end I just forced myself to get out to bed and face the day.

The morning unfolded as usual. Coffee. Egg on toast. The morning news presenter talking in the background. I was hardly paying attention to anything. My mind was preoccupied with the three certainties needed to create a trust and the powers and duties of a trustee.

When I opened the front door to leave, there was the sound of a flurry of wings coming from the olive tree that grew next to our porch.

Note: If you live in my area at this time of year, chances are you will become paranoid that any movement out of the corner of your eye is a vicious, territorial magpie coming to get you. Needless to say, I panicked.

After a brief moment of terror, I realised that it had been a greyish brown bird that had flown from the tree (not a terrifying black and white one). My fear subsided.

Curiously, I peered into the part of the tree from which she had bolted. There was a nest, with three little eggs. It made my day! We are going to have chicks!


When I arrived home after my exam – ecstatic that it was over and not unhappy with how it went – I checked inside the olive tree. The bird was sitting in her nest, staring back at me. She didn’t move a muscle.

Now, every time I leave or arrive home, I look into the olive tree to find my little bird and her nest. I, and many of my neighbours, are eagerly awaiting the hatching of the eggs.

It just goes to show that it is the little things in life, like a bird choosing your house to make her home, that can bring some light into your days.


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