Birdsong… what’s in the message. As I ponder over my tea, sometimes coffee, these mornings in the early summer I watch as the sun rises and the dew dries on the grass. I hear all the birds singing their various songs. It is so beautiful to my ears and I love it. Can you imagine the scene? Close your eyes and picture your favorite place to sit and listen to the birds. Sitting in your favorite chair with the sun shining, your favorite morning drink in your hand, maybe a book or a magazine, and you simply stop and listen. The birdsong of Ontario is so loud and clear and beautiful. How many different birds are their making up this song? Where are they? I can hear them but I cannot see them.
I remember last year in Ireland we were hiking the Aran Islands heading up to the ruins and there was a robin, in a tree at eye level. This was an Irish robin, so tiny compared to our Ontario robins. Much much smaller than what I was accustomed to seeing in Canada. This robin tiny we robin drew my attention with its song! This robin was singing a very loud song just for me. I stopped to listen, it was so beautiful. I feared if I moved it would fly away, so I stood and listened. When I stepped closer and the bird never feared I moved even closer. I decided to take out my camera and take a picture and it stayed. All the while singing its heart out for me and who ever stopped to listen. A crowd gathered and the little beak was open and the song was clear and beautiful. I watched and the tiny wee black eyes were looking right at me and they were saying, “this song is for you!” and the bird continued to sing. This little bird sang its heart out, at my eye level, that very day. I stood and watched and listened for a very long time. I do not speak bird so I have no idea what the message was I could only decipher it on a sound level. That sound level was crystal clear and angelic. I captured it and in my heart and my mind’s ear it remains to this day.
Today, with all that is happening around us I am harkened back to Inishmore and listen to that bird’s song, the unknown message continues to be a mystery, however the beauty is still clear. In its own way of communicating the bird was telling me their story. We often have that happen through song or speech when we cannot understand language. French composers and writers, German lyrics, or instrumental language speaking in native tongue for us to hear and absorb that has the ability to bring us to tears with its beauty. We do not analyze the message we feel it, because we do not speak the language we simply must be moved energetically and it is powerful.
As there are so many voices on the horizon today speaking out in a language I can understand … it is in English, yet the message is almost more than I can take in. It is brutal and heartbreaking that we are able, as humans, to treat other humans in a way that justifies the need for protests and solidarity. We are speaking out in fear against a dis-ease that we know nothing about, and we are in troubling times. Oh, to return to the song of the robin and simply go back to Inishmore and be by that little robin once more. Can I do that today with all the song and voices in the world’s pain? How can I hear it all not as a cacophony but as a symphony? The robin’s song I heard energetically, and knew it was good. I did not need to understand the language, the message was from divine source singing to me to be just, fair, understanding, kind and loving.
In these troubled times I choose to continue to hear the messages with kindness in my heart. The song of all people in a global society and culture where 100 years ago local community was all we had. It is a new environment to be knowing of the world’s woes and work toward a just society with so much input.
May you listen and hear in the language of love and caring. May you have the ability to know there are voices raised we cannot understand and yet can tell by the tone and the intention there is pain present. May you show compassion and empathy for your neighbours and hear the song of the robin whistling in your ears. Feel it and choose to listen with no judgement or rebuttal, listen to all songs and simply hear what is said with no intent to respond. In the work I do as a death doula and grief worker all anyone wants to know is they are heard. They want to speak their pain into a world that will accept it and care about it. Choose to simply stand with others in love and in hope that all songs are heard loud enough to disrupt the entrenched pattern of lives past lived in complacency and disrespect. Trust as a human species that we have it in us to sooth the pain and sing one song of soulful love and unity. Start at home, in your own life, read your own bias, hear your own story and then reach out to sing with and to others.
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