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Bird Songs at 2 a.m.

April 21, 2012

by Stephen Damon

It was a warm night in the City so I left one of my bedroom windows open.  I was awakened at 2 a.m. by a cacophony of bird songs and twitters and tseet tseet tseets.  At first, I watched how these sounds abruptly took me out of my nearly unconscious state to a state of annoyance.  I wanted to go back to sleep, but I couldn’t.  So I lay in bed, listening to the birds and wondering how to distract myself from their songs.  Instead of coming up with a plan like closing the window I just lay in bed, listening to the many sounds coming from many different creatures. As I said, instead of pleasant, harmonized music it sounded cacophonous and disruptive.  I counted at least four bird songs that differed in key, range, and rhythm.

But as I continued to listen, I began to sense a subtle harmony  or maybe I should say, intentions.  They were all expressing their joy of being alive and awake on a warm spring night.  They each had their own way of doing so, and they were doing it as best they could because it was what they had to do.  I guess what I am trying to say is that they were expressing their own natures as fully as they could.  And each song by itself was in perfect harmony with the silence. And a line from Genesis appeared: …And Adam gave names to all the birds of the sky. I noticed how peaceful I felt and  I became more and more aware of the darkness and the silence and I fell back to sleep only to be awakened a few hours later by my dog licking my face and a gentle breeze coming in from the window.  And it was very quiet.



From → Zen Buddhism

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