Is it different this year? Or am I different?
The birds. They are so…present. Noisy. Alive. Full of movement. And maybe it’s all the more noticeable because for the first time in so long, I’m the still one. Perched in the chair with the south-facing window, watching them flit and zip and communicate with each other. Make proclamations to the world, most of which I’ll never understand, even though I try.
I’m over here! Maybe they are saying. You look nice today! I like it when you fluff up your feathers? Watch out for the red-tailed hawk on the church steeple! The little insects on this kale plant are an incredible appetizer….I like to think these are the things they are sharing with one another, with the neighborhood, their families and friends.
I think it IS different this year. The vibrancy of noticing, gratitude some might call it, breathing and meditating others might think of it.
The din of traffic ever so slightly softer, the airplanes overhead fewer, the footprint of people smaller.
Instead the birds come through, repetitive, clear. The one that sings, alone in the pine tree, at dusk and dawn, she’s the first to arrive in the spring and then she’s off as we turn to summer. Those the chatter back and forth to each other in the camellias, like an old married couple. Or the babies tucked away in their nest amidst the vines who scream to be first in line for dinner.
The white Christian scientific world says that we shouldn’t anthropomorphize animals. That we’re separate and above these creatures. This isn’t how it always was though, and isn’t how it is still in many places, cultures, and times, and isn’t how it has to be. What a loss to not see the shared earthliness, sameness with these sentient beings?
When I say the words birdsong, you know exactly what I’m talking about, in your mind’s ear.
If you’re still enough to hear it.