The magic of defying darkness

The darkness was that mid-winter kind of blackness. There was no moon to gild the night and the stars were hiding. The heavens above me were a huge, aphotic void.

The town was deserted. As I walked through pools of light from the street lamps, the crunch of my footsteps echoed off silent buildings.

I shoved my hands into my pockets and shrunk down into my scarf as a bitter-cold wind skipped and twisted through the roads, rattling Christmas wreaths on front doors and clattering bin lids.

And then I became aware of a beautiful sound. Like sparkling aural diamonds, it was coming from the tree branches.

I stopped to listen. Birdsong!

What kind of creature has a heart big enough to sing with such joy and hope when the world around it has withdrawn into the shadows?

This was a job for Google. And the answer was my brother's namesake, the robin.

It made me realise that courage doesn't always have to come in the shape of a roaring lion. Sometimes a tiny little bird can be just as strong.