Monday, December 11, 2006


NOURISHED ONWARD


This will be the twelfth winter I've spent up here on the mountain, and this morning I was awakened just at dawn by the song of a bird I've never heard before, that had a melodic richness that brought me to careful attention, with ears never sharper than in the silence of a mountain dawn.

The brief melody was as ornately trilly as that of the warbler, but it was bigger, deeper, richer, in a thick-honey sort of way. (Birdsongs are notoriously difficult to describe.) And whereas the warbler song is splendidly ornate, it is only one-dimensional: a single note, bent and trilled along a single line of sound through time. This song, in contrast, had a deep, multidimensional resonance, more like a chord of notes sounded and intertwined together; I've never heard its like before. And as though its richness were were a factor of its length, it sounded twice, very briefly - just a course of several multilevel notes - then was heard no more.

It was 12 years before I heard it, then in only two brief melodic cascades it was done; when will I hear it again? What bird was it? I love the way life keeps creating us with fresh mysteries, planting enigmas where they best take seed, where we are most awed and nourished onward in new alertness...

4 comments:

Tabor said...

Well, with global warming it could be almost any bird ;-)

Annie Donwerth Chikamatsu said...

I've dropped in a couple of times over the months but more so lately. It must be the weather.
I, too, have heard some birds (in Tokyo) recently that I hadn't heard before. Perhaps that's the weather as well.
Lovely post. Lovely blog. Thanks.

Joy Des Jardins said...

I hope he makes a return melodic engagement Robert. He would if he knew he had such an appreciative audience in you.

Trace said...

Very beautifully written, Robert. I do hope your visitor will return!