Beginning at dawn each day throughout spring and summer, our world is accompanied by bird-song. Though many people habitually tune bird calls out by listening to their busy thoughts, these passerine melodies invite us to listen and be present with the greater world around us. Birds invite us to test our tuning – what we tune our awareness on (although singing with the birds is fun too). When you wake up each morning, before rising, listen first. What do your hear? Maybe it’s the sleepy breath of your mate or a pet, or the hum of refrigerator. Then move your attention out to the circle of sound outside your building. Can you hear a bird singing or drips of fog? A squirrel scolding or wind through leaves? Even in busy cities, the sounds of nature are present and require only that we tune in. Listening to the field of living energy around us when we first ‘come to’, is a viable meditation and we are doing well if it lasts five minutes before the mind is busy with breakfast or activities for the day!
Once you are part of the conversation with nature around you, step outside for just a moment to engage with what’s happening where you actually are - before you listen to news or views about another place and time. No matter the weather (or your garb), peek out to look at the sky and breathe deeply. You may notice some interesting details in life around you. A flower bud opening, a spider web sparkling with dew, soil from a potted plant kicked up by a jay bird, clouds blowing across the sky even though you feel no wind. Each day you do this, you’ll find some new clue about life that goes on living while you do your day.
Do this again before you turn in for the evening – invite others you live with to join in. What does the evening smell like? Are stars visible? Is there a bird who refuses to stop singing? As you make a concerted effort to reach out and connect with the natural world each day, an intimacy will develop that expands in mysterious ways to the way you connect with all of life.