Saturday, June 5, 2010

What Can I Learn From Listening to the Birds

One of the joys of living in an "urban forest," is the amount and variety of birds that we attract. As we approach the summer solstice their song is loud enough to wake me at 4:30 am when the windows are open. Their song so lovely with crescendi conducted by the almighty. I am content to listen with wonder, frequently surprised at the melodies that take the forefront.  The occasional train or plane in the distance providing a drone to support the harmony. Then when I think their play has come to an end, I am pleasantly surprised as new song begins.

One morning a few years ago, during a period of financial concerns, I was listening to the birds. Delighting in the days musical selection, a small useful insight emerged. The birds were singing joyfully with no idea where their next worm would come from. With nothing more than a hodgepodge of twigs and vines for shelter and their lovely song as warning to steer clear, the birds were just being birds. Singing away, distracting me from my concerns, and still surviving.

Looking up I see one struggling with a longish thin leaf that has dried. He is resting on the fence and trying to take this precious housing material to the nest. After his third effort he lets go and returns to his perch just above me to sing of his trials. Or perhaps to celebrate still being alive in this moment. The trio of squirels dancing in the tree tops not ruffling his presence.

I  marvel how such a small animal can produce such volume of sound. I envy how effortlessly the prized possession for the nest was let go of. Can I let go so easily? Sing my song so confidently? Just be who I am?

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