A bird sings at one in the morning
and even Atticus Finch would forgive the sinful thoughts
this is a a random musing about a random bird that could not be silent early one random morning. it’s just a casual story with no learned moral to convey by the end.
As of late, there has been a bird hanging around our backyard whose voice has a surplus of merry in it at all hours of the day. He takes the occasional nap and then sings into the night. He woke me up early the other morning with his lively and joyful singing, which usually is not a bother, but this time his timing was wrong. I kept mumbling my irritation toward him — Please stop. It’s okay to be quiet now, but he clearly couldn’t hear me because the sounds persisted.
I laid in bed for a few moments, half asleep but in that weird head-mind-space where if you got up now and moved then after a while you could easily be wide awake. This is a touchy space and may only last a few moments to a few minutes. So I contemplated life and what the next move should be and if being awake was worth it. Maybe it was close to being an appropriate hour to get up and start the day anyway.
Mornings are the best time of day. The world is slowly waking up, one human, one animal (except this bird because he never went to bed), one town, one city at a time. Waking up before everyone else in the household, before everyone else in the neighborhood, before the sun is fully alert and at its peak for the day is the most calm and rejuvenating air that that day will endure. Everything feels still and right and all is quiet and there is peace in the world, in your world, even if only for moments, for fleeting moments are all we have.
These quiet moments in the morning carry the familiar and gentle voice of Miss Stacey saying ‘you can always start everything fresh tomorrow’ and Anne modifying the phrase to ‘tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it.’ The morning is yesterday’s tomorrow, fresh and ready for decisions to come and play out and for mistakes to eventually be made and from which these mistakes teach the lesson for the day.
In the end, I ended up muddling and shuffling and crawling out of bed. I wandered into our dark and blurry living room. I had decided to not grab my glasses because seeing the crisp outlines of the world would create more awareness and awakeness within and there was still some hesitation on that decision. But mornings mean coffee and coffee sounded good, so I debated for a moment on making some and whether to just be wide awake with him at this point. I checked the blurred time displayed and illuminated in fuzzy red on the stove. It was one in the morning.
I was still a bit irked with him, but what is time anyway and who am I to think that this bird should stop being joyful and keep quiet at this hour for my sake and why should I want him to stop living life full of gaiety just because my mind and body say it’s the middle of the night and all should be sleeping? I felt guilty for wishing he would stop. He could be heard from every room in the house, like his voice was being thrown around, bouncing off the trees outside.
But then another familiar and gentle voice started to whisper in my head. It was the voice of reason and wisdom and calm and sanity and knowledge and understanding. It was the voice of Gregory Peck; of Atticus Finch; of Harper Lee. I was Jem re-learning an uncomplicated and golden lesson. ‘Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.’ Then came the voice of Rosemary Murphy; of Miss Maudie; of Harper Lee. ‘Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.’
They sing their hearts out for us. They sing their hearts out for us. This line was like a broken record, playing on repeat and always emphasizing the us part of it. The lively joy that radiates from this guy outside should be a blessing – I mean, it is a blessing. He has a voice, and he can be heard. I should join him and be lively and joyful and thankful to be able to hear him and thankful that I too have a voice and thankful I get to live in this weird and dreadful but wondrous world.
But then I remembered — it’s one in the morning. I think even Atticus Finch would forgive the sinful thoughts and would wish the bird to pipe down. These thoughts that grazed my mind never consisted of anything to the sinful extent and harshness of murder, just the inconsiderate and selfishness for him stop being so jolly.
I eventually wandered back to the bedroom and crawled into our warm and yet crisp and cool bed. Jennie was asleep, but she later told me that she too heard the merry bird being extra merry at one in the morning. He never did stop. I hope he finds a mate soon for the sake of my ears.
Thank you for reading. I’m still trying to find my voice on this platform and am working on writing more regularly like my original ambition once was. So if you aren’t subscribed yet and enjoyed this piece even a tiny bit, maybe consider subscribing and then checking out my other writings and rambles? Until next time — Cheers, Hannah