the birds out my window

Waking up each morning, I’m greeted by the wild whips, whoops, tweets, and chirps of various indigenous birds.

Press “play” below for a minute preview of what I listen to. Some may call it a bother at 4 a.m., but I call it pure bliss!

While listening, I thought you might enjoy reading this poem—a favorite of mine.

The people I love the best
jump into work head first
Without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes
almost out of sight.

They seem to become natives of that element
the black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half-submerged balls.

I love people who harness themselves,
an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo,
with massive patience,
who strain in the mud and muck
to move things forward,
as to be done, again and again.

I want to be with people
who submerge in the task,
who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm
when the food must come in or the fire be put out.

The work of the world is
common as mud.

Botched, it smears the hands,
crumbles to dust
But the thing worth doing
well done has a shape that
satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn,
are put in museums
but you know they were
made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water
to carry and a person for
work that is real.

From Circles on the Water by Marge Piercy
Copyright 1982 by Marge Piercy
Reprinted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.

The bird you see when you listen to the audio is the Yellow Warbler, a regular visitor. We’ve had quite a few juveniles and older warbler-types flitting around the windows of the Design Studio lately.

(Rascal has enjoyed watching them, with reverent purring. I do believe she would love to give them a love bite … or two.)

Their pretty yellow color is similar to my lovely little canary, Daffodil, who passed away a couple of weeks ago.

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    I am with you here. The morning chatter from the birds is both comforting and energizing. When we can keep the windows open, I love waking to all the excitement of a new day as heralded by the local cardinals, carolina wrens, and chickadees. My Mr. Bump spends his days watching our birds in the yard, but I would categorize his purring as tickster instead of reverent!! Ha! He is not trust worthy in his intentions.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I am sorry to hear about your lovely canary, Daffodil passing away, MaryJane. Glad you have the beautiful songbirds to buoy your spirit.

    Sometimes when we experience a loss, being still & listening is the better choice.

    (Bible text at Luke 10:38-42)

    Martha and Mary offered hospitality to their friend Jesus of Nazareth, a respected but somewhat controversial Jewish rabbi. Their house was near Jerusalem, and Jesus often stayed there. Mary sat and listened to him as he talked, but Martha objected to the fact that she was left with all the work. Jesus told Martha not to worry about small things, but to concentrate on what was important.

  3. Paula says:

    What a treat! Thank you for sharing, Mary Jane!

  4. I’m always photographing birds through my kitchen windows – one of life’s finest little pleasures, along with listening to their songs. And the Marge Piercy poem has long been one of my favorites too. I’m sorry about Daffodil 🙁

  5. Kim Platt says:

    Let me tell you, there is nothing like hearing a chirping bird first thing in the morning! It would never be any bother to me. When I have to leave for my job, hearing those birds always lifts my spirits a trifle. I’m sorry about Daffodil, too. Thanks Mary Jane.

  6. Pingback: Bird Song | Raising Jane Journal

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