Symphony Of Birdsong

By Teo Spengler | July 7, 2022
by Teo Spengler
July 7, 2022

I don’t think of myself as someone particularly sensitive to sound. I take photos and sketch, so I consider myself visual. I love massage and do Reiki, so I consider myself sensitive to touch. Sound though? Not so much. Unless the sound you are talking about is birdsong.

Symphony of Birdsong

Whenever I return to France, I can hardly wait for dawn. I sleep with my window open, and have my own, very natural alarm clock. About 20 minutes before first light, the birds start singing. It is the very best way to wake up in the world.

As soon as I hear the sound, I leap out of bed, grab my slippers and a robe, unlock the front door, and step out into the pre-dawn air. It is chilly and fresh. Across the valley, there is a faint light in the sky. I walk to the end of the driveway to look out all the way to the Atlantic. The air is totally alive, vibrant, with the songs of birds, all different kinds of birds.

Forest for Birds

This is my own doing. When I moved to France 25 years ago, there were only a few trees on the ten acres, hundred year old oak trees. The entire mountainside had been full of beech trees centuries ago, but the Basques cut them down to create grazing for their sheep. Today both beech and sheep are gone. 

I started planting trees that first year. I bought young arborvitae to line the borders and transplanted young beeches from the beech forest. I tried to plant 50 trees a year every year and usually accomplished this. When I finally returned after the pandemic, I found that the trees had grown into a forest. The birds figured it out well before I did.

Favorite Garden Sound

So, this is my favorite garden sound, the morning birdsong. It is on all sides of me, surrounding me, as if nature wrapped her arms around me. 

I feel I could die in this moment, that all of life is captured in this song, the joy, the sorrow, the love, and the loss. This happens every morning in summer and gives me the courage I need to live that day fresh, as a new, unexplored adventure. 

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