It is bone silent, mysterious. Outside my opened window, night’s residue meanders among the branches of the fresh-leaved redbud tree.

A solitary chirp nudges the stillness like a symphony conductor tapping his baton upon the music stand seeking the performers’ attention. It is beginning. Like the first morning of creation, more chirps swell the darkness, intermingled with a piercing trill; then warbles; then whistles; then pipes; then chucks; then full-throated songs color the tracings of light in the sky. The chorus becomes unbearable until it subsides into isolated sighs. Then, stillness returns like a brooding mother.

Unfortunately, our calloused culture has lost the spiritual sense of birds, reflected in centuries-old myths, legends, and folklore of numerous cultures. For example, indigenous peoples living along the Pacific Northwest Coast revered the Raven as bearer of light to humans, lost in impenetrable darkness. Closer to our time, the Brothers Grimm’s discovery of two folk tales, “The Raven,” and “The Seven Ravens,” nuance the storytellers’ imaginative handling of this image as it evolved through time.

In other parts of the world, birds possessed supernatural powers as co-creators and messengers of the gods.

A deeper study of the seasonal presence of birds in our backyards, especially at dawn, suggests a Divine order at work, now as well as in past epochs. Their display of color-sounds still occurs each morning. We have only to be still and listen and  swell with hope.

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