“Look at that bird, he’s so sweet.”

I remember my dad saying that, pointing at a close-up he’d taken of a bird in our back garden.

The photo was so sharp you could see the fluffiness of its feathers and the shininess of its eye.

Dad was a keen photographer while I was growing up. Not just birds – there were flowers too. Close-ups of Teasels, Kingcups and Harebells, purple, yellow, blue.

I remember the love I felt when my dad pointed at the picture. Not just my love for the bird but for my father too.

I loved that he noticed it. I loved that he pointed it out. I loved the connection that was forged between him, nature – and with me.

I loved the wholeness of it all.

How often, I thought, do we really see a bird? How often do we get past the identifying and the labeling and see the sweetness that goes beyond any name?

That’s a place I wanted to go more often.