As I approached the seniors home on foot where I work as a recreational chaplain—and continue to work (front line) in spite of stay-at-home recommendations[i]—I suddenly heard a little bird chirping.
It was on the home’s grounds. The song it sang was so beautiful, so delightful and tender that I literally stopped in my tracks.
I waited, transfixed, as the tiny creature continued to sing.
In the midst of darkness, grief and uncertainty, the bird’s song reminded me that life goes on.
As I listened to the song, I felt feelings of joy, tenderness, delight and amazement.
We have signs now in the seniors home placed next to television sets that read, ‘Do not switch to the news channel,’ as residents enjoy musical performances and films instead. Yesterday, I heard Frank Sinatra’s The Way You Look Tonight and Aeorosmith’s I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing. ‘Modern music is a bit loud,’ one of the residents commented regarding the latter.
After hearing the Song of the Bird, though, I think that we would all benefit at this time from listening to the ‘bird channel’—if such were made available. It would be a channel with a single image of a bird, perched atop a tree perhaps, or a looped nature video with the Song of the Bird playing in the background.
Listening to Song of the Bird will help us naturally release emotions, heal and feel uplifted. After hearing the song, we may feel a tinge of sadness with tiny tear drops gently welling in our eyes. This is good and natural given the sheer stress of it all.
We desperately need to relax, know and accept that there’s a lot more going on than what we see on the news. There’s good news, too, like Easter.
Don’t get me wrong. TV can be a major distraction and positive force in the lives of those who are home-bound. It’s just that the constant flow of negative news that we’ve been exposed to for the past month or so is unhealthy. We need to change the tune, so to speak.
The Song of the Bird is the polar opposite of this.
The movement of the bird’s thorax as it releases its cry of joy represents the thrust of life. Its song is hope for a bright future.
The Song of the Bird, the brightening of our atmosphere and Easter, all point to a lifting of restrictions—both physical and mental—that we’ve been subject to.
A bird is essentially free. It has wings and can fly. It sings out with all its little heart.
As I write this piece, I hear birds chirping outside my window—a confirmation, an omen dare I say—that we will be well. All will be well. Everything will be alright! Life will get back to normal, in fact, life is already back to normal as the birds seem to think.
I leave you with this beautiful recording of birds singing which you can listen to here.
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[i] This piece was written at the time of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.