Tuesday, May 23, 2017


This is my Father's world, and to my list'ning ears,
all nature sings...and sings and sings and sings!

We have a Situation at the Kendall house, one involving a bird.

I love birds. Birds are like messengers from God. The electric blue of an indigo bunting, glowing like the tip of a fairy wand on a stalk of waist-high grass; goldfinches, sparks of sunshine exploding from the creek bank; the sooty gray of delicate phoebes nesting on the porch. The slow, elegant grace of a blue heron as he lifts off the pond behind the house. The hypnotic honk of geese calling to one another as they slice a vee across the sky; the drum-like boom of owl song echoing across the valley in the evening; the buzz of wood duck wings, just above the surface of the water; the friendly whistle of the Bob White quail. I love birds.

But that mockingbird...

We have one particular mockingbird who neither sleeps nor eats. He perches on the rooftop and sings his heart out all day long. He sings all night long, too. He sings loudly, all hours of the day and night, frenetically cycling through his repertoire of quail and cardinal and meadowlark impersonations.

Did I mention that he sings LOUDLY? Did I mention that he sings ALL THE TIME?

I am normally an early-to-bed girl, but last night, I got trapped in a book. I crawled into bed around 10:30, promised myself I would read "just one more chapter," and then proceeded to read until midnight. My mockingbird provided background music for this late-night book fest.

At midnight, I turned off the bedroom light. Morning would come early. I needed to crash fast.

Mr. Mockingbird sang on and on in the darkness just outside my window.

At 1:30, I wondered, "Is this one of those things that will eventually become background noise?"

Train whistles and the slice of steel wheels down metal track became background noise when we lived in Millington. The trains rumbled through the night and shook the house, but they did not disturb my sleep. Frogs and cicadas in the summertime, shrieking so loudly you have to yell to be heard over them - I can even sleep through frogs and cicadas.

But this mockingbird...

At 3:30 this morning, he fell silent.

Finally, sleep!

Shortly after 5:00 am, Mr. Mockingbird was back at it, piping like a Scotsman. Right now, he is warbling down the chimney, his song amplified like a rock star's by the narrow brick tunnel into the house.

I have the windows open this morning so I can hear the other birds, too. The music is beautiful.

But this mockingbird...

He has been singing for days, weeks, months, almost nonstop. No, his music has not yet become background noise.

I hope Mr. Mockingbird takes the night off tonight. I am tired and need some sleep.

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