Every morning in the dark, my prayer comes in silence. Or rather, it comes in my silence amid the conversations of others: of the hundreds—possibly thousands of geese calling at sunrise; the turkeys having another of their frequent family squabbles; the robins in their distinctive sweet monotony; the sparrows and the chickadees, each with their own language of singing; the owls calling their last sleepy good nights; and the raccoon silently ambling across the open lawn and slowly up the tree trunk to bed.
The soft sleeping breath of dog one; the impatiently waiting breath of dog two; and the intense watchfulness of the puppy who sits at the window to see, hear, and smell the lives of others, these are the sounds of my prayer. This morning noise is the sound of life, of the world.
The traffic sounds that rise from the valley will come soon, too, but not yet. For now there are just these other lives among us, busily, and with unknown degrees of self-awareness, going about the hard work of living. If they worry—and I think the garter snake who encountered us yesterday in the orchard was damned worried—they don’t sit around and wallow in it. They don’t have time for self pity. They have to eat, and get where they have to be, and find a mate, and feed their young, and elude homicidal neighbors. Every decision they make is life or death. It’s a lot. It is, frankly, more than I have to worry about, and probably more important. But they start each morning by raising their voices.
I don’t know that it’s cheer. Who can say? But it is life affirming. It’s a statement of presence, of vitality, perhaps of territory, perhaps of love.
Life is hard, and may be over before the sun sets.
But still, they sing.
(But still they sing.)
3 thoughts on “They Sing”
I love this. It says so much more than just the words you’ve put on paper.
There is a favorite song of mine by Chris Tomlin titled Indescribable. The first verse says:
From the highest of heights to the depth of the sea,
Creation revealing Your majesty,
From the colors of fall to the frangrance of spring,
Every creature unique in the song that it sings.
These words ran through my mind as I read your words.
Thank you for sharing the beauty of your mind as you view and experience the world in which we live. 🙂
First encounter. Really lovely words to live and die by.
Tanks for that. (and to charlie sykes) Reminds me Ive been in the city too long without going home. here it’s the sounds of family who gather often now behind the buildings with kids and dogs, meals and water ballons.