I sit on my balcony deck each morning, many mornings with Margaret, my wife, and read my morning prayers. What a joy it is to mindfully listen to the all that Mother Earth provides us if we just take a few minutes to slow down and listen.
We live in an urban environment. It is amazing to me how much of what the Great Mother offers us is still available when we stop to reconnect with her.
After my prayers, I sit in mindful meditation, simply listening, most often with my eyes closed, to the cacophony of sounds and voices that are their for my pleasure and enjoyment.
My most favorite time is right at sunrise, when the bird calls are unobstructed by background noise from nearby interstate highway traffic.
Even when I’m meditating later, the birds are present. I just listen with a greater depth to recognize their calling to me.
Most lovely to me is the male Carolina Wren, who, at this time of year, visits often throughout the day, early morning till late afternoon. He’s mostly interested in announcing his availability to the female Carolinas, who fall in love with his very loud and distinct love verse. He is an absolute joy to behold, long being my favorite player in this natural symphony.
Complementing the Carolina Wren are male Cardinals, flashing their bright red feathers to attract their desired females of less striking muted red and reddish brown. They’re abundant and easily detected by their distinctive call.
The Carolina Chickadee is quite numerous in its morning appearances as it flits from tree branch to tree branch, seeking its daily breakfast of bugs among the leaves and branches, accompanied by an occasional Creeper and Nuthatch as they traverse their way through our region.
Phoebes, sparrows, finches, vireos, and warblers all make themselves known as various species and sub-species migrate through Dallas now, returning again as they reverse their path in the autumn.
I’m so familiar with the Blue Jay, Northern Mockingbird, House Finch, Grackle, Starling, Mourning Dove and White-winged Dove, the local mainstays, common here and throughout most of the Midwestern U.S. They are often heard throughout the day, interspersed among the local symphony’s major, visiting players.
Later in the day, our backyard is often frequented by the powerful and tenacious Red-tailed Hawk, with a not-so-frequent, rare visit by a cousin of the Red-tail, a Coopers Hawk. As they swoop through our spacious backyard with great surprise, I delight in knowing we still share our beautiful planet with these gracefully elegant, earthly neighbors, who have managed to survive in spite of our continued assault on their last remaining habitat.
I wish you the desire and ability to find for yourself the opportunity to take a few minutes each morning and reconnect with our earthly neighbors, both non-human and human alike. There is nothing more fulfilling and enjoyable, allowing your body and mind to re-energize and recover from the stresses to which we all subject ourselves, than to slow down and enjoy what Mother Earth provides us.
While you’re at it, pick up a copy of Thich Naht Hanh’s “Love Letter to the Earth”, available here: www.dolphinblue.com
Have an awe-filled and joyfully abundant day.