"My owl is hoping your owl is OK as he is afraid of the dark so I have to take him upstairs with me."
These are the words of the ten year old daughter of distant friends. Her lovely card, which I received a couple of days ago, cheered me up no end.
I don't know this child at all. Her parents took her along to my 50th birthday fundraising bash last year, where she seems to have acquired one of the many little owls I made. People took them home, leaving a donation for charity.
Her mother wrote a little note: "I think you are definitely onto something with your worry owls - our daughter now has a scared-of-the-dark-owl... Surprisingly helpful!"
It's lovely to think that Scared-of-the-Dark Owl has a brave young girl to save him from his fears.
I didn't know which of my owls she had chosen, so I asked her to take a picture of her frightened owl for my blog. Here he is. He lives in Yorkshire, which is perhaps unfortunate as it's bound to be darker there than in London, being further up north.
|The owl who is afraid of the dark|
It's even lovelier to think that my humble cancer-stricken Owl has a growing group of supportive friends of his own, scattered around England and thinking of him.
There's Knee Owl, who is trying to regain his balance after years of walking problems. He lives with my friend here in London who's had two knee replacements.
So I made her a blue owl ("Mum likes blue") with its heart sewn together from two pieces of embroidered fabric ("Mum likes embroidery"), big enough to hold my friend and her five siblings, despite being broken.
|Owl about to send Heart Owl off to Devon|
|Owl and Jokery|
I like them better for it. It occurs to me that they are better friends and better helpers, not despite, but because of their own problems.
I try to imagine a capable, competent, perfectly healthy owl who sails through life and copes with anything. Somehow that doesn't seem as good for Owl. It would just make him feel inadequate.
There's a lesson there somewhere. Weeping in the woods? Perhaps it doesn't matter.