Friday, December 28, 2007

songbird. singing. . . .

It's been feeling like spring here, these last few days, of a morning.I finally figured out why.

Some blessed bird has been holding forth, where formerly silence reigned.

No, it isn't any warmer than usual. In fact, this morning there was frost on cars and grass. But for some reason, this lone creature has had it in his heart to be singing. (and no, unfortunately the above is not a picture of the most recent singer. It's a picture I took last time I was in Dublin. We made an excursion one very cold day to Glendalough. This fat, feathery guy kept us company in the graveyard.)

It's amazing how I can get used to the silence - as well as get used to the song. It's only around the transitional period that I might become aware - but not necessarily. The bird singing - after having become used to silence - makes me feel like it's spring. And a profound silence - after the chatter of bugs and birds all summer and fall - makes me feel like a blanket of snow must have fallen. So I guess it's the out-of-the-ordinary that draws attention. The isolated bird singing when all else is (and has been) silent; the sudden silence when - an hour before - raucousness reigned. Other than that, the gradual decline or start up of the noises of spring and summer go largely unnoticed.

I remember coming across an unlabeled cassette tape in the dead of winter a few years ago in my cottage in Dublin. I popped it in to hear what it was. I had taped an interview on the back porch of my parents' house during late summer. The voices were barely discernible over the din of the locusts and crickets. I was amazed! Since then, I've made a recording of the summer night noises, and bring it out in the dead of winter, just to help myself remember. . . .

Must do this also for early morning bird song one day, I see. I'm missing 'em.

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