16.05.18 Castle Archdale Country Park. Blue skies and warmth.

It’s hard to imagine a world without birdsong. Now, it sings from its own branch of the evolutionary tree, a wiggly line from dinosaurs to what we now know as birds. Every morning, before the sunrises my consciousness creeps to the surface alongside the melodious flute of the Blackbird. St Kevin comes to mind this morning, hand outstretched from his hermit cell a blackbird flies and rests and nests on his palm. There, he keeps his arm extended, cradling the nest until the young fledge and fly away. He no longer knew himself, or anything else either, just the act of giving – and not taking away.

Rising and falling, birdsong sings to our awakening mind, breaking the darkness and welcoming the darkness. I lie and listen. I could listen all daylight hours. Sometimes, I ache for it to interrupt the chatter of busy school corridors – every noise is heightened for me. I frequently take breaks at school to reconnect with myself; my connection to nature is the best part of myself.

In a woodland, the perfect place for orchestral birdsong, it swirls around you. It lifts my being out and up with each note. It completely fills me up.

I lie back and turn towards the sun, eyes closed. Blackbird, Robin, Chaffinch, Song Thrush, Great Tit, Goldcrest…each note sails separate to land on me. Transported. Anxiety is sifted out and the welcome emptiness is filled with the best kind of untamed music.

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