I’m for the birds!

Red-Tailed Hawk

“May I please have everyone’s attention?!” My respectful but loudly expressed request was made to a forest full of birds. It was morning. “Everyone, please! Quiet!”

And they were silent.

“Thank you. Sorry to mess up your morning. Now, here’s the thing. The person I’d hoped to be doing this with is not in my life anymore. Is that understood?”

A twitter of confirming yeses.

“So, I’m doing this with a hand tied behind my back. Now,  I love birds but don’t know a bunch of you, so I needed to get some help. Any of you heard of a bird I-D app?

Not even a peep.

“Didn’t think so. New to me too. Anyway, I turn it on, you sing, and it tells me what kind of bird you are.” I took out my not-so-smart phone and opened the app. “Okay, start singing!”

All of them, at one time.

“For the love of God! One at a time!”

Spring mornings the world is alive with birdsongs, audible jewels of sound. I have loved birds and the woods since boyhood, but making it a point to identify birds is a new endeavor.

Writing early mornings these days I can hear the birds before the sun fills the day. I am, by no stretch of the imagination, anything like the justly revered, John James Audubon (1785-1851), but, if it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be wandering around in the woods, yelling out, “One at a time!” in order to get two types of birds to stop singing at the same time so I can figure out who they are.



On the Wings of Angels

Early morning hours allow the angels of peace.

Early hours have been my favorite time for as far back as my memory allows. I didn’t always allow myself to live them. There is nothing unique in someone denying themselves the healthier things in life. People do it all the time. I begin to allowing myself the early hours when  I began working on a horse farm around 1988. I had be at work by five in the morning. Since I’ve always found getting up and rushing out of the house unsettling, a little scary actually, I got up at three and, in doing so, allowed myself the delicious peace of mind, body and spirit present in the day’s first hours.

Now it dawns on me, many years later, the hours themselves are the angels of peace. Time is a gift, to all of us, not to be taken lightly.

And so, in these angel hours, I allow myself the often exquisite movements of classical music, or time with a good book, or the simple joy of watching birds on the feeder, the gutsy Black-capped Chickadees the always rush Titmouse, or the Nuthatches who appear convinced sunflower seeds taste better if you eat them while hanging upside down on the perch, or, just as wonderful, time with you. 

Like the unfettered movement of the birds and music, my thoughts and dreams know equal freedom too. It is up to me to pay attention. It is up to me to allow the early morning hours, born on the wings of angels.