Old English spearwa, from Proto Germanic sparwan (cf. Old Norse spörr, Old High German sparo, German Sperling, Gothic sparwa).
Lesson Six: 2.40pm
A small class of sparrows
is perched in tennis court fence wire
and from the last upstairs schoolroom
it appears they are sitting on nothing
but the freezing panes
of a winter afternoon.
In an instant
measured by time and distance
a twitch on the thread of a moment
in a single flash they are gone
mere specks above the football field
flying on the great wheel of the day.
In the days of the tall ships, sailors would get a sparrow tattoo for crossing a sea, i.e., from the US to England. A seaman with 5,000 miles or more under his belt earned the right to a sparrow tattoo.
A sparrow for a safe journey, a sparrow for a safe return and a banner from one beak to the other, for every five thousand miles.
Sparrows can mean all or any of the following: eternity, luck, innocence. Sparrows are also known for travelling great distances, but always returning home.
‘Let not your heart be troubled,’ His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
Civilla D. Martin 1866-1948
Reading: Psalm 11: 1
In the Lord I put my trust: how then do you say to my soul: Get thee away from hence to the mountain like a sparrow? Douay-Rheims Bible
©Jeff Guess 2017