Thursday, January 27, 2011

Uplifted by birdsong

When my friend D and I met up yesterday, we exchanged belated Christmas gifts. We share a love  of garden birds and D gave me this book and CD of birdsong:
I have been playing it in the kitchen this morning while baking, making soup and generally pottering. It created the most relaxing yet uplifting environment and I achieved far more than I had planned. The birds in my garden are  busy eating to ward off the cold at present and their singing won't begin until the spring weather arrives. Thanks, D, this has brought spring and summer into the house!

One of my favourite poems is Siegfried Sassoon's Everyone sang. He wrote some of the most powerful poetry of WW1 but this poem is full of hope or, as he himself described it, release.  Like the birdsong, I find it very uplifting:

Everyone suddenly burst out singing;
And I was filled with such delight
As prisoned birds must find in freedom,
Winging wildly across the white
Orchards and dark-green fields; on--on--and out of sight.

Everyone's voice was suddenly lifted;
And beauty came like the setting sun:
My heart was shaken with tears; and horror
Drifted away ... O, but Everyone
Was a bird; and the song was wordless; the singing will never be done.


  1. One of the amazing things about living here on the east coast of Florida is all the different birds singing year round. We have plenty of native birds, but in the fall we get some who stop by on their way even further south for the winter.

    Sometimes, if you can believe it, the cacophony of bird song and the rustling leaves as they flit from branch to branch added to the chattering of the squirrels as they chase each other across the tree tops, is so loud, you can’t even hear yourself think ... admittedly not always a bad thing.

    Then there are the heated discussions at the birdbath kept in fine order by my roomie and resident game keeper whose early morning chores include keeping it clean and filled with fresh water. It’s quite a lesson in avian dynamics. The big birds chase away the smaller ones who often return with more of their kind to dive bomb on the larger birds, but they all scatter when a neighborhood cat strolls by.

    Oh, and then there are the hooting owls and the woodpeckers.

  2. A lovely post Thank you!
    I miss the cheerful sound of bird song and when we visit England am amazed how much the birds sing from morning to the birds work hard to survive, so sing less..but the Ravens Cronk and Klawock away..the Eagles scream and laugh in the summer and this time of year flocks of Waxwings descend on the mountain ash trees in town ,in huge swirling flocks full of life and exotic beauty.

  3. erp and Val

    Your lovely descriptions make me want to visit both of your gardens! I don't have owls or woodpeckers, e. And we don't get eagles, ravens or waxwings, Val. They all sound very exciting. I love the blackbirds, thrushes, chaffinches and wagtails that visit daily. A robin and a thrush come about once a week, I suspect that is the day that the neighbour's feeders need refilling! We also get lots of jackdaws that chase the smaller birds away.

    I just love them all and can watch them for hours.

  4. Hello Maureen
    Do you know I could have sworn (nicely) that I commented on this post -saying something about it being an international pastime enjoying birdsong - maybe I just thought about it lol
    Anyway I thought I was the only one to have miscellaneous stuff round the computer area - sorry no idea why yours is there same as I've no idea why mine is lol
    Maybe you were in the middle of cutting fabric to make artistic things to frame and maybe thought you'd have a little look to see if there was an easy way to do it? Oh well it was just a thought:))
    Take care

  5. I'm so glad you are enjoying the birdsong CD, M. We can have tests while we are out - spot that bird! I am deriving enormous amounts of pleasure contemplating my Indian wall frieze - a wonderful gift, thank you so much. The hand gestures are called mudras, by the way. And if that doesn't provide me with a bit of inspiration to get blogging again, I don't know what will.

  6. D

    I find the birdsong CD as therapeutic as any of my meditation discs. It really does transport me into the garden in May.

    I left my camera behind on my last visit to Abingdon so I haven't been able to photograph the other gift; eventually that will be appearing in a post here!

    I look forward to learning more about the mudras on my next visit.


I love to read your comments and promise that I will reply as soon as I can leave my garden, sewing room or kitchen!