cardinal trills from atop the electric pole,
song sparrow warbles, he’s “all in” somewhere on a fence post,
and a family of barn swallows pauses, twitter-tweeting along the wire.
Lately, a cat bird has been haunting the shrubs, and his random serenade makes me smile.
Doves coo and murmur,
goldfinches call, “potato chip, potato chip.”
Every ordinary bird adds its unique song to the cheerful chaos:
yellow shafted flicker-flicka-flicka-flickering.
And from high atop the locust tree, the brown thrasher is giving full voice to one of his mimic songs. He has more than 1100 song types from which to choose, according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
But if only the "special" birds sang, my Big Valley morning would be a pared down version of today’s symphony, - so much thinner, so much less joyful and jubilant. If the rich cream of “ordinary” local birdsong was poured off the top, I’d be left with the pale skimmed sounds of distant traffic rumble and noises from the farm next door– feed truck rumbling, horse and cart clip-clop rattling, cows murmuring in the barn, the occasional rasp of an over-vigilant dog. Noise, but no music, no melody, no magic. How empty and dull the day would sound without the combined choir of everyday chirpers and tweeters.
I’m glad birds aren’t like people, always sure that “someone else” can do it better, say it better, sing it better. It seems we are always expecting to be outdone by someone else, so we defer when we could shine.
”Help me to do the work that You have given me to do in truth and beauty and for the common good, for the sake of the One who comes among us as one who serves...”
And here I find a bit of Birdville truth to carry with me through the day:
Each one of these birds is doing the work it has been given to do...in beauty, for the common good, for the sake of the One.
Each song is sung as if it matters. To Someone.
My feathered teachers lead the way. These clear notes, rising and falling over me, are a joyful, melodious reminder to bring what I have, to sing the song I have been given, to hum with hope.
Who knows how my ordinary song will touch the soul of another gardener, weeding, working quietly in a lonely corner, someone like me who also needs the nudge to keep singing the song that has been given.
So, make your own music, sing the song you have been given.
Do not waste your life waiting for a better song.
In this place.
On this day.
Even if you think you're just a robin. (Or, a goldfinch!)