It was dark when I woke, just the faintest lightening of the deep blue to herald the sun’s rising. Through the open window of my bedroom another herald greets the coming dawn. The blackbird was perched on the tree so I could see the faint silhouette as I lay there listening to the concert. There is no music that betters a live performance, and the first song of the blackbird is the most beautiful of all.
I am lucky… though as I sit shivering on winter mornings I may not think so… as the dog requires instant and prolonged access to the garden. Being up so early I can listen to the dawn chorus most days. Sometimes, even so early, I am so busy that it is the just background music to activity, the half-heard soundtrack to thought and movement. Most days, however, I take the time to listen, revelling in the gift of song I could never match. It accompanies me through meditation and leads me in beauty to stillness.
Within half an hour the world is full of song as the sun rises. You can hear it even in the town, beyond the traffic noise, but here in the village it is the only sound when the world still sleeps. I wonder about it sometimes. What are they saying? Are they singing in simple joy a hymn to the sun at its rising? Are they sharing news and gossip. Both perhaps. As the first bird raises its voice in song it seems to sing alone for a long time… its voice one of the loveliest, centre stage… the soloist of dawn. If you listen it seems that way. Then a chorus of voices join the song and it is as if all of creation sings in the morning… except for us, or maybe in part for us, for we seldom raise our hearts in song for the pure joy of living.
Or perhaps, I wonder in the dawn chill, they are singing the Miserere for us, for we who have forgotten a joy they know, the soaring flight of wings on the morning.