This month finds me feeling a bit gloomy and philosophical dear readers. When I think about all the rotten stuff that’s going on in the world – all the violence, inequality, hunger, injustice, disease, bank-rolled state sanctioned wars, all the greed and misplaced anger – I wonder what the point of it all is. I mean, why bother? We’re just hurtling blindly through space on a ball of rock: and eventually, and inevitably, this space will either contract into a single point of nothingness or else it’ll expand and collapse in on itself. Whatever may be right and whatever you happen to believe, our morality as individuals and as a species means we’ve basically had it. I don’t know what’s got me thinking this way when I’m usually a glass-half-full kind of person: maybe it’s the nights cutting in, maybe it’s seeing the news and how bad things are getting all over the world, or maybe I’m just getting older and starting to see more (or less) clearly? Then I recall a recent conversation I had with my neighbour’s five-year-old son. He had just found a feather in the street and started to tell me a story about it. He’d used the feather to help his friend go on holiday. “I can help you too,” he said to me. “Can you help me now?” I asked him. “No,” he relied. I asked why not and he said you have to not be looking for the magic to work. Fine, I thought, but what does the feather have to do with it? I asked him. “Like this,” he said, and proceeded to stick the feather through a bracket on one of our fence posts. “Your house has wings,” he said “and now it can fly.” The conversation was such a little thing, but that five-year-old’s clarity of vision and his imagination, for me, are acting as an antidote to all my gloomy autumnal thinking. In the end all we have is our relationships with each other and if you have a feather to spare why not make someone or something fly today.