My favourite songs of summer are the clear fluted trill of the hermit thrush and the peabody-peabody-peabody melody of the white-throated sparrow.
I wish I had a musical soul.
The thrush's call echoes each evening through the dusky forest, floating on a breath of green rain and moss, luring me to a game of hide n' seek. Sometimes I comply.
I wander about, ear tuned upward and trying to track this ethereal call...does it come from the right? From the left? The thrush eludes me...like a mischievous sprite...he flies deeper into the forest...but not too deep. I thrash through ferns knee-deep, swatting mosquitoes. Then he calls again..."Here I am..." Eventually, I give up.
And the white-throated sparrow..well his song just makes me smile. Except I'd never actually seen one.
Until the other day, when a resounding thud on my office window snapped my attention from my work (any excuse gratefully accepted).
A single feather remained stuck to the glass. I rushed outside, expecting to find a casualty. A shaken sparrow crouched below the window, feathers fluffed and fat. Upright, but eyes closed, unmoving.
After a while, when he still didn't move, I gathered him carefully in a towel and placed him under the covered porch, safe from cats and hawks. With my bird book in hand, I soon realized this was the little songster I so loved.
Mahogany rich, the auburn brushstroke of his feathers...cross-hatch as fine as fishbone...
Tiny beaded eyes...buttoned up snug as a scallop shell. Leftovers on his bill.
He shuddered steadily. I thought he might die...I breathed prayers....I wished....and sent energy his way...and then...right when I thought he would give up his little spunky spirit...
...his little brown eye suddenly, popped open and looked directly into mine. Directly. Into mine. He saw into me. Through me.
For that space in time, there was only him and me. Why does it tingle so, to be recognized...seen...by a wild creature? Why does it feel like such a miracle? Like I've been noticed by God?