We filled the bird feeder— finally. It took a couple of days but now we have become sparrow central. The birds line up on the wires in our backyard, on the tomato towers and the lamp post and swoop to the feeder, sometimes trying to push other sparrows out of the way. Since we eat on the back porch in the summer, their frenzied feeding escapades have become the drama that accompanies our meals. Sparrows and humans feasting together, but the sparrows are in the outside cafe.
Sparrows have been associated with Aphrodite, goddess of love, because of their perceived “lustfulness.” They are the most common bird on the planet, quite prolific. Perhaps this is part of where their association with the love goddess comes from. Sappho wrote a poem describing Aphrodite in her chariot pulled by sparrows. Because of their ubiquitousness, they are also considered lewd, vulgar, and common. Perhaps their ubiquitousness also supports Christianity’s notion of sparrows as a symbol of divine providence (Matthew 10:29).
So as we sit to eat, we have the opportunity to watch the sparrows delighting in their repast as well. After all, working for Aphrodite, they need to keep their strength up.