I awoke at dawn this morning to the amazing spring chorus of bird song. How can such a cacophony of notes create such beauty and harmony? Surely this is what the psalmist calls a morning of heavenly praise. “Give praise to the beloved O heavenly hosts, sing of Love’s glory and strength (psalm 29).”
The scientists refer to this occurrence as the dawn chorus. When the light is too dim for the birds to yet begin to forage, the feathered creatures find time for full-throated social interaction. “Listen,” sings the male, “I am strong and vital.” I am certain the 21st century female replies, “So am I. So am I.” For the most part I am cannot identify the birds’ signature songs, yet even the long drawn out lament of the mourning dove sounds hopeful.
Grateful for a blessing at the start of my day, I listened from my bed perch for most of an hour imagining the tree tops all through my neighborhood filled with song. I pictured a wave of dawning light moving around the earth accompanied by a chorus. Just as the volume began to diminish, a single crow swooped in with his raucous attempt to stake his own claim on the day. Close behind came the rushing sounds of tires as the world stirred into action.
On the first Sunday in May the United Kingdom celebrated International Dawn Chorus Day, and encouraged people to rise in the early hours of the morning, to step outside and to listen to this awesome performance. We missed the date, but if you seek out “dawn chorus” online, you will find many recordings of this phenomena – not quite the same as rising early in the morning, but inspiring none the less.