The birds have been going crazy around here lately.

I woke up at the regular time today in my own
Natural migration,
And went out onto the porch to meditate,
Hoping to get lost in the bird sounds
And the colors of the trees against the grey sky.

But as it happened, all through the neighborhood
The great army of leaf blowers had once again descended
With their incessant whining and revving of agitation.
I sat there, listening, watching my mind get tossed about
By waves of tiny engines run by people I can’t see
For an end that may or may not affect me.
The dissonance put me on a familiar edge
I don’t like to admit lingers always
In my shadow.

But even then, when I least expected,
The great insect would mysteriously go quiet
And in the fleeting lull of engines
I could hear an ever so slight birdsong.
It was there, but in all the static
More like a flashlight in the foggy distance.

What a wake-up!
Because that’s where we all are in this time of
Viral tsunami,
Lost to the gravity of something we didn’t see coming
And have little real ability to control,
While our beauty and our simple nature is hard to locate
For all the chatter and noise
Aimed like a warrior’s ancient arrow
On all we love the most.

It’s hard not to inhale the very stress of it,
To sense that what was promised to us is now lost,
What we thought was our given, a right,
Has been snatched while we slept.

But as I sat there (of not very calm mind, as it turns out)
I noticed the engines growing quiet, slowly at first, then
In what must have been a rush of the loading trailers,
They were mostly gone.
Only across the valley was there a slight hum and buzz.
And then, the birds seemed to be all around me.

For they were never gone.
It was just my hearing that was temporarily overwhelmed.
No, they were always there,
As they’ve always been.
And once this time passes, the beauty and grace
Of the song that we call life will carry on.

So, my hope is that as the rumble of these days
May overwhelm your mind,
Know that the migrations are still in play
And that the birds are out there, waiting,
Singing their bloody hearts out.

Austin, TX