Last month I spent a week in Utah taking care of grandchildren. Being with Emily and Jimmy was great, but what I’m writing about was even better. Every morning, including the one when I woke up to a silent blanket of snow that made me feel as if I was in a Christmas card, a solitary songbird, greeted the day from a roof top at the end of the street.
His song was heart-breakingly beautiful. It was flute-like, sung so clear and sweet into the morning I had to go outside and find him. He was alone, and I wondered if he was the first of his flock to arrive in Saratoga Springs where the trees are as new as the subdivisions, so that they are small, and hardly sturdy places for nests. Was he looking for a mate? Had he been blown off course? What kind was he? Why was he there, this one, solitary bird, singing into the morning with such gladness I wanted to cry. Why?
In the face of such music, I thought of contrasts, of the cacophony of our culture and country and was so sad I cried. We, culturally speaking, seem to be on a steep descent away from dignity, honesty, charity, and moving toward judgment, condemnation, anger, and a frightening willingness to let the end justify the means, however repulsive and demeaning they are. The human voice is becoming harsh and deceitful.
Yet there was this bird and his beautiful, lonely song. I am convinced he came from a better world, a messenger sent to brighten this one.