Sunday, August 10, 2014
If the Birds can do it....
Yesterday in the hour just before dawn, I laid in my bed, semi-conscious listening to a lone bird across the street in the bush. There is a stretch of wooded area without houses that is home to hundreds of birds, but this bird was the first one to make a sound. In the still and quiet at that time of day, his song was crystal clear and loud. It was as though the trees had parted to create an amphitheatre for his performance. His song was rich and precise and repetitive but not annoying as it was so beautiful. I could not identify the species like I now can many others.
I could only imagine what he looked like based on his voice. He was surely large, the size of a sulphur-crested cockatoo I figured. A small bird would never accomplish the depth of his cry. I imagined him to be an older bird, wise and owl-like, but not an owl. His sound was not a hoot. He must have been perched high and his chest would be puffed out, his head lifting with each note. There were three distinctive notes, spaced evenly and with purpose. I wondered if he was in charge over there. Was he the rooster of the bush community? Were the other birds wishing they could turn him off like a snooze button? Or, did they look forward to this wake-up call each morning?
He sang his song for about 15 minutes, unaccompanied. A bush solo. Just as the first glimmer of morning light appeared, he was joined by a single kookaburra. The kookaburra used his soft voice, not the loud cackle we generally hear. The two of them were in a duet now. There was a slow and gentle rhythm building. After about two minutes, a couple of other kookaburras chimed in, still using their softer more guttural voices. It was as though they were honouring Sunday morning and giving their human audience a peaceful concert to start the day, unlike their weekday revelry-like blast of crazed laughing to which we have grown accustomed.
Then, one by one, other birds joined in. They joined in distinctively one at a time. Who was conducting this avian choir? It did not seem random to me at all. Yet, despite the seeming order of this concert, there was an ease to it that made it flow and rise and fall as it should. Each species seemed to know when to start their instrument at a certain volume and time. They clearly followed in numbers and volume with the incremental increases of light with the rising sun.
It occurred to me how simple life can be when we follow our instincts and allow nature to guide the way. These birds did not resist adding their voices. They knew just how and when to join the chorus to create this Sunday morning symphony of song. A cooperative collaboration of species, sharing their talents, using their skills as nature intended. As each new flock joined in, it only added to the depth and richness. There was no evidence of one group of birds trying to out do the other or silence another's voice. They were different, yet alike. And they worked together to produce a thing of beauty.
You see, I thought to myself, it is possible.