I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings wrote Maya Angelou. At least the great poet/writer had a feeling for the why and how. Few of us do. Finding the joy of song sans freedom remains beyond arms reach for most of us.
When I head out the door in the early darkness on weekend mornings this time of year, the songs of the birds are immediate.
But what do they sing in the treetops? Do they ask their mate for food? Are they giving a cheery good morning to their avian neighbors? Do they give thanks simply because they are free to soar?
Or, given my admittedly wild imagination, do they instead sound a predawn warning: “There’s that odd guy again,” or “Kids, don’t make eye contact with him.” Or is it something else? Even the owls know of my presence. Perhaps their hoots from afar are part of some sort of tree-to-tree chain letter phenomenon decipherable only by our feathered friends.
Beats the hell out of me. But my walks are partly for them, even though I’m at ground level and them well above me.
There is a peaceful serenity to their joyful noises. They choose to chirp-tweet-peep the morning away in the face of all the harm we’ve done to them and their kind; i.e. loss of habitat and reduced tree canopies and pollution of their living spaces (to name a few indignities).
Saturday morning I’ll be up and at ’em again very early; it is the best time of the week, in large part thanks to the birds. They give me a reason to smile and feel all is right in the neighborhood. That is, until I get down to the real business at hand.