‘Look at the birds of the air!’ says Jesus, and we have only to look at one bird, the jay, to perceive the miracle of creation. The jay has a specialised knowledge of how best to plant oak and beech trees that still amazes even the most experienced forester. Left to themselves these trees cannot successfully reproduce themselves, for acorns and beechnuts would merely lie at the base where they had fallen, unable to grow in the shade of their own species. The jay, however, fills its beak with acorns and beechnuts and sticks them into the soil with uncanny skill. It never puts several acorns together but always at correct planting distances, often in rows.

Nature repeatedly reveals to us a deeper pattern. We have only to look up, to use our eyes and ears. As Wordsworth reminds us,

Hence in a season of calm weather
Though inland far we be,
Our souls have sight of that immortal sea
Which brought us hither.


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