Before we left it was a pretty typical morning. I had brushed my teeth and shaved, and Yodee was patiently waiting for me to finish so we could go on our walk. We left the apartment about 4:00am. It was dark out, of course, as usual, probably around 50 degrees, and very quiet. There is a peaceful stillness that early in the morning, which allows your senses even more clarity and attunement than usual. It’s probably one of the reasons why I love experiencing the world at that hour.
But something was different. I noticed it within the first 10 seconds of us being outside. It wasn’t completely quiet. I could hear a bird chirping in the distance. Sound carries farther in the morning and I sensed it was coming from the park across the way. Just a single bird. I probably would have thought nothing of it, although it was unusual. I can’t recall hearing any birds chirping or singing that early in the morning. What made this even more unique was that after Yodee and I had walked about five minutes, I realized the bird had been singing the entire time. Chirping, tweeting, whistling. It was quite melodic. Yodee and I got closer to the park and the bird continued. We were on the other side of the street and I could tell the bird wasn’t far away. How special, I thought. The bird didn’t sound in distress. There seemed to be joy in the bird’s music. Was it expressing happiness? Was it calling out to a loved one? Or was it just taking it upon itself to express what made it special. Creating something just to add its contribution of beauty to this morning. And it didn’t matter to it who was listening. Or whether anybody thought it was good or bad. It was its own symphony, its own testament of self, of being. (Hear what Eizzle heard by playing the clip below.)
Such deep thoughts while I’m walking the dog, right? Yodee and I headed back to the apartment and I could still hear that bird continuing on with his song. What a wonderful way to start the day, I thought. I fed Yodee, gave him a hug, and then left the apartment for my morning walk. It was about 4:30am now. I closed the door behind me. It was still very dark. And still very quiet…except for that bird. He was still singing. Still sounding poetic and purposeful. I did one of those motionless headshakes that happens in our brain sometimes. Wow, I thought. But then I also thought, I have to go find this bird. So instead of my usual walking path, I headed to the park. I crossed the street. There was nobody outside of course, and hardly any cars on the road. The bird was somewhere in the dog run, a fenced-in area. I found the tree where the bird was singing from and looked up at it from behind the fence. I couldn’t see the bird in the darkness but it had been singing the entire time I went to find it. Who knows how long it’d been singing before Yodee and I first left some 40 minutes ago. I didn’t want to disturb it so I stood quietly there and just listened. One minute. Five minutes. Ten minutes. Whether he knew it or not, the bird was putting on a concert just for me. It was so absolutely lovely. I quietly took out my phone and made several recordings of its songs. I wanted to capture this moment. God gave me this gift and I wanted to honor and appreciate it for the rest of my life. (Hear more of what Eizzle heard by playing the clip below.)
I then continued on with my walk and a short time later the bird’s music faded because I had gone too far away. I kept thinking about that special moment and all the things that it brought with it. The thought that each of us can create and add beauty to this world. That we almost have an obligation to share whatever the gifts are that God gave us. Whether we’re a bird, a person, a flower, a sunrise. And that we also have the opportunity to be recipients, to appreciate those gifts from others and other things, those wonders. If we stay aware of them. If we keep our eyes open for them. If we listen for them. If we look for the beauty, for the joy, and the good. God may have even been telling me it was not only an opportunity for me to experience and appreciate these little things all around me, but a responsibility.
About a half hour later as I walked it remained dark and very still and I came back to the park and to that dog run and to that fence and to that tree. The bird was still singing. It was now almost 5:30am. I thanked the bird out loud. I stood there again just listening. A couple of minutes went by, and the bird stopped singing. Amazing I thought. Bravo, little bird! I smiled and headed back to the apartment to get ready for work.
About a minute later in the distance behind me as I walked away…the bird started singing again. (It doesn’t get old.)