Last night, hot from bike riding with my daughter and watering transplants in the garden, I madly put the screens in the upstairs windows. We slept with the glass opened all night, and this early morning is cool and lovely, a symphony of songbirds serenading my children in their dreams.
When I was a teenager, my cousin from New York City visited us in the summer and remarked every morning that the birds woke him with their singing. Turbo birds, he called them. These mornings, I sometimes remember the three enormous sugar maples that graced my childhood lawn, prime songbird habitat. As a child, I thought it amusing that someone would comment on songbirds. Really? You might as well comment on drinking water.
Like anywhere, Vermont has drawbacks: I’ve seen mercury at 42 below zero fahrenheight, the public libraries are too tiny, rural living can be darn lonely, and my ears are swollen with bug bites. But here’s just one ineffable joy: birdsong.
“A Minor Bird”
I have wished a bird would fly away,
And not sing by my house all day;
Have clapped my hands at him from the door
When it seemed as if I could bear no more.
The fault must partly have been in me.
The bird was not to blame for his key.
And of course there must be something wrong
In wanting to silence any song.