I couldn’t find a feather, there’s never one when you need one. You can’t plan these things, or know where to look. They are not like conkers or pine cones. Feathers find you, carried on the breeze in search of a new home.

People tell me that they are messages from the other side, sent to give you hope and meaning when you are most in need, but surely that can’t be true? Which little bird does my Happy Prince have on his shoulder, ready to offer a gift when the time comes. Or are his pockets stuffed with them, foraged and found, collected in an old pot on the shelf? Are they waiting, waiting to crown the Lost Boys?

No, they are just feathers, cast off by thoughtless creatures when they are done with them, or victims of the neighbourhood cats, random, discarded chaff.

And yet, here is one on my doorstep when I arrive home in the rain. Here is one in the garden while I’m planting bulbs for the spring. Here is another. And another.

Maybe I never needed them before, but just like the thunder clouds, and the rainbows and the purging wind, I’ll take them all.

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