the sound of birds

April is over.

I’m sitting by the open window enjoying the breeze and birds and green of spring. The window slams down and I jump, like always. I don’t spill any coffee—not like always.

The window slams and after I recover from the embarrassment of being me, I realize I’m more comfortable and relaxed with the window down. I had been cold.

The sound of birds in spring is providing a substance to life this go-around. I am thankful for the sounds of birds in ways I can’t remember. A strata of support I didn’t know I needed until now.

The birds click and start, sputter and spurt. They appear naive. I feel as if I’ve never seen birds before. They are lovely.

The birds can bear weight. This spring they bear the weight of my need—no small load.

Watching them I might be tempted to fear the seasons when I won’t witness their starts and sputters, when they won’t drop their sounds into my hungry mouth, like mash for their young.

What will become of me without the production of birds—theater and orchestra? Will I starve?

And this I know from pain: the strata of life is more transient than the strata of earth. I know only one who remains.

All the rest come and go.

This is a life of great dismay.

We assemble at grave sites, literally and metaphorically, eyes wide, shook.

As if it seems so peculiar, so strange, for someone we embraced, someone who nourished us, to die.

“How could they die…”

(How could they not?)

As children we believe in absolutes. These absolutes support us. In time the planks we grow up on fail us—our first step straight through rotten wood.

This is growing up.
This is waking up.

Waking up is very Pinocchio-like.
We trade in our wood for the translucent frailty and glory of flesh.

Without strings,
without a platform,
what are we to do?

We begin digging, of course.

We are digging our own graves, simultaneously laying the foundations of our lives.

The layers.
The strata.
Some are solid as rock, others still support, but more like sand, or water.

We get to the birds.

This morning I noticed a gap in my future mornings — a gap the birds have filled. I could cry noticing how much I have enjoyed the innocence and drama of birds, and how much I will miss them.

What is present, nourished me to do with the future, unnourished me?

The morning the birds are quiet—will all marvels disappear with their sound?

It may seem so for a moment,
but as one supply dissolves,
another is on the way—

and I will find comfort in a blanket of snow,
a song,
a slice of really good bread,
or a friend who remains.

Whatever I find in that moment,
it will be enough.

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