We spent the night recently in the new suburbs of Fishers, Indiana. I went out in the morning to load our sleeping pads back in the van because we were leaving shortly after breakfast to get home and milk the cows. I noticed the birdsong there, the morning birdsong. It was thin, like ultra-pasteurized skim milk.
Here I am now back at home in the morning and sitting in the sun room, windows down and the birdsong is rich, creamy, cultured and diverse. It is something we probably don’t even note regularly, just our common background music. We notice what’s different or odd. Today begins overcast and the music is slightly different than it would be clear. It is not as hot and the locusts haven’t started in.
My children will come drowsy-eyed pattering out of the living room, where the window A/C hums, and they’ll sit on one of the couches next to me here. They’ll sit and take the morning in. In that zone just after sleep where the body and mind are not yet ramped up to do, do, do or think, think, think. They’ll settle here next to me and sit. And I wonder how they’ll hear the birdsong, if they’ll hear it like their heartbeat, or like their breathing. This rich country birdsong. And I wonder what this diverse music is worth, how it will sustain them in their journeys and remind them of home when they’re away.
Watercolor art by Gail Vass