There is this bird …

A bird who loves to sit in a tree just outside our bedroom window.

A bird who loves to sing.


A bird who thinks 5:00 a.m. should be everybody’s wake-up time.

What should I do about this bird?

Shooting it isn’t an option, given that I have no night-vision goggles. I could curse it, I suppose, or open the window and try to scare it away.

But I don’t. I lie awake, listening to its raucous, repetitive morning song, and I wonder what it’s up to. Is it seeking a mate? Defending its territory? Boasting about its pre-dawn raid on local worms?

I have an advantage over my wife: I’m mostly deaf in my right ear, so I can turn my left ear to the pillow and shut out the audio intruder.

But I don’t. I find myself listening, imagining, absorbing a share of the early bird’s melodic joy.

When the sage who called himself Qoheleth spoke of the time “when one rises up at the sound of a bird” (Ecc. 12:4), he was complaining about growing old.

I’m growing older, if not yet “old,” and I do find myself rising at the sound of a bird, but I’m trying not to complain.

That bird outside our window is living out what the good Lord made it to be with every ounce of its feathery being — and its morning song challenges me to do the same.

Those who have ears to hear, let them hear.

[Photo by Tom Grey, from I don’t know for sure if our avian alarm clock is a robin, but the song is similar.]

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