Wednesday, June 1, 2011

"The beautiful vagabonds..."*

A good friend of mine said this morning that she prefers not to open her windows because the sound of birdsong drives her "absolutely insane." I love listening to birds sing. The sound reminds me of home, of growing up in a rural area, of air free from smog and peacefulness unbroken by the thumping bass emanating from a teenager's car or the raucous, often drunken laughter coming from the too-close neighbor's summer party. It's funny that my friend mentioned her dislike for birdsong today, as yesterday I wrote my 100 words on how much I've always enjoyed listening to birds:
The birds are active this morning, chatting and chirping outside my window as I type, and they remind me of growing up in Michigan, especially the summers, and how I would often wake up early, then stay in my bed reading for hours, listening as the birds called to one another, background music to the story that unfolded in my book and in my mind. My heart is happy to hear these birds today, as I live in a large city now, where nature is so often drowned out by sirens, by airplanes, by traffic, by music blasting from cars.
*John Burroughs, US essayist and naturalist


  1. that was a sweet reminder. i love hearing them when its still cold because they are a sign of spring, but i have also had days of not wanting to hear them.

    you should do a drabble some time. on mondays aheila gives a prompt for a hundred words. its a good exercise and you can meet a few more writers =)
    her blog is:

  2. Thanks, Tara. I would love to write a drabble. I appreciate the link!

  3. Absolutely beautiful! I love to hear them chirp and sing as well - it tells me winter is over and spring is here at last. :)

  4. I love what you wrote and birdsong. The only external animal/insect hum that's driven me batty so far was the sound of cicadas when I first got to Japan. I don't know if it was the wavelength or something else, but I actually looked forward to work as a way to escape that incessant hum!

    I feel like I should give these 100-word writes a try. It feels like it'd be a great way to see little bits of the world that might otherwise fall by the wayside . . .

  5. Thanks so much, Kimberly!

    Deb: Thanks for your comment. I've never heard cicadas "in person," but I've been told that the hum is insane!

    I love writing my 100-word exercises each day. I like to use them as writing warm-ups or exercises in character development or, as you mentioned, as a way of appreciating the things that might not otherwise be noticed but are still an important and interesting part of life.