Angels and saints play a major role in heaven. In times past the lark performed an equally important function up there, but things went badly wrong. Ever since he sings and then flies almost directly upwards until you lose sight of him. It looks like he’s flying straight to heaven. That is the truth of the matter too! Draw closer and listen to this old legend:
Every soul continues into the afterlife once its earthly existence is over. Without exception they all knock hopefully on heaven’s large golden gates. In front of the golden gates it is very busy with throngs of the dead trying to gain entry into the kingdom of heaven in an honest way or, if need be, in a less than honest way. Not everyone is allowed to enter; only those who have lived a good life are welcomed into the heavenly paradise. Heaven’s guardian has to be tough about this.
At the beginning of our calendar the lark was the guardian: an energetic and restless bird who sung enthusiastically as he went about his work. It was his job to ensure that no bad souls managed to craftily slip past him. The resultant stress caused the bird to curse and swear more and more.
When Jesus ascended to heaven in the year 33 AD and the endless stream of hopeful and frightened souls passed him by, He heard the cursing at the gates. He thought this was unacceptable and complained to His Father who directly relieved the lark from his duties, sending him back to earth.
The lark was angry and upset about his dismissal and the forced return to the tough reality of earthly life. This is why he still attempts to return to heaven, but his successor Peter is strict and consistently sends him back down. That is why you will see the lark hopefully singing of his return to heaven as he soars upwards in a straight line to heaven. On his arrival he finds Peter adamant. He sends him back, so he floats back down to earth, cursing as he goes.
The lark is to be found throughout Europe. In The Netherlands and Belgium we mainly see the skylark and to a far lesser extent the wood and crested lark. The skylark lives in quiet open areas like meadows, farmland, heathlands and dunes. In the 1970’s his celebratory song could be heard all over the countryside. At that time the sparrow and the blackbird the lark was the most common nesting bird.
© Els Baars, Natuurverhalen.nl