Giving you the bird

Bird Fix 8
Photo credits: Joshua A. Martinez

Are you a morning person? Does daybreak find you around and roaring or asleep and snoring?

I’m an early riser. I find the quiet the early-morning hours offer to be refreshing and a good way to start the day. On a typical spring or summer weekday, I’m up shortly before or after daylight breaks.

One of the things I like most about the early-morning hours during the spring, summer and fall is the sound of birds singing outside my window. Birds don’t sing much in my neck of woods during the winter months, but they have plenty to sing about from March through October.

I’ve always thought that birds don’t sing until at least first light, but I noticed this spring that that’s not the case.

Where I live, first light comes about 5:30 a.m. during May and June. A few weeks ago, I was up at 5 a.m. and noticed the birds were singing before first light. I peeked out the window to make sure, and, sure enough, it was still nighttime dark outside.

Bird Fix 3
Braving the Arizona heat.

But, why were the birds singing in the dark?

As it often does, life brought something to my attention that morning: if the birds had reason to sing when it’s dark, shouldn’t I sing when things are less-than-bright in my life? I’m quick to sing a happy song when things are going well and my way, but when things get challenging, that song of happiness eludes me and I’m more apt to sting than sing.

Birds don’t care if it’s daylight or nighttime; they share their song whenever they’re out and about. Their songs are simple, beautiful and bring joy to my heart.

It also dawned–see what I did there?–on me that morning that birds don’t care what they sound like when they share their cheery songs. If a bird sings off key or not as well as his fellow flyers, I don’t notice–or care! Our winged friends share their songs no matter how they sound and don’t seem to care what others think. They certainly don’t let anyone or any thing steal their song!

We’d be wise to follow our flying friends’ examples. If we dig deep enough, there’s always something to sing about, even if it seems daylight has bypassed us and only cloudy skies lie ahead.

The good news–for everyone within earshot of me, at least–is that we don’t have to literally sing to share our songs.

We sing when we let our better selves shine through our bad moods and prideful ways.

We sing when we lift others up and offer an encouraging word.

We sing when we don’t let the bad moods of others affect our outlook and mood.

We sing when we cheerfully and willingly lend a helping hand.

With a song in our heart and a sunny disposition, we, along with our bird friends, will sing when it seems to the world that we shouldn’t be singing. Birds don’t wait for sunny skies to sing, neither should we.

What song will you sing?

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