I enjoy watching for and listening to birds, so I have several bird feeders on the deck and at the window. They are placed so I can see them from the screened porch and from the kitchen.
I have regular visitors.
A brilliant red male cardinal and his less brilliant mate come at least twice day.
Flickers and House Wrens come to feed.
An occasional Blue Jay tries to bully the others.
But the one who delights me the most is the Carolina Wren. He’s not as flashy in appearance as the male Cardinal and the Jay, but his song bursts out of him fortissimo with a vibrant, pure sound. He sings engaged with his entire body like a professional performer. As a singer, I appreciate him more than he knows.
One morning on a clear fall day with the promise of an October blue sky and early fall, I was sitting on my little green mat in lotus position practicing my morning ritual.
I always begin with a breathing meditation to warm my throat and prepare my body for movement. As I sat there with my shoulders and arms comfortably relaxed, focusing inward on my breath I began a soft, then louder sacred intonation ‘OM’. This sound in the quiet morning connects me to myself and to the world.
Just then my Carolina Wren flew down, landed, close by, on the deck and began his cheerful greeting. I kept on with my ‘Om’ varying the pitch, experimenting with volume, mindful of our morning duet. He kept singing with me, allowing me to participate in his soulful musical improvisation.
We didn’t look directly at each other, but the communication was there with our voices. I was initially afraid of frightening him away, but he stayed for several minutes singing with me in his precise pitch perfect way. I felt at one with the morning, positive toward the day, glorifying, wondering at this little bird’s consistent, insistent song.
After he left I kept the feeling of this close encounter with the natural world with me. It was pure spirit that spoke to me that morning. I thought of Emily Dickinson’s “Hope is a thing with feathers/that perches in the soul/and sings the tune without the words/and never stops at all.
I’m left wondering if he heard my OM and wanted to join me or if he was a bright spirit coming to comfort me, to reassure me that all was right in this world and the next.
Based in North Carolina, USA, Sylvia Freeman is a writer, song writer, photographer, and yoga instructor who will never run out of things to accomplish. Her degree is in English and Art History. You can see her work on her Fleur de Lis website.