Greetings to you in the midst of yet another transition. On Tuesday, California opened up after 15 months of various shades of lockdown. Wednesday, I participated in my first group fitness class since it all began.
Wow, let me tell you how amazing it was to be in a hot pilates class surrounded by Zoom-free, in-person humans. It was a music-thumping, heart-pumping, sweat-dripping paradise. And my glutes are telling me all about it today:)
How are you experiencing the latest of these transitions?
As delighted as I am for live concerts, dining out, and freedom to travel, I’m also tending the flame of what was kindled during lockdown. There were precious, unexpected gifts that I don’t want to leave behind.
Remember way back, in March 2020, when the world came to a halt?
In our little corner of the universe, noise pollution dwindled to just a dribble and the polyphony of nature rose from the earth with an intensity I hadn’t before experience except in the deep backcountry wilderness.
Crickets chirping and clicking late at night. Lake frogs creeeeeking and croaking at sundown. I even got the rare treat of experiencing, in literal surround sound, the popping and crackling of an entire madrone grove shedding its bark in seasonal exfoliation.
And, what captivated me most in these strange times was the birdsong.
Around seven every morning, Moxie and I would stroll through a local eucalyptus grove. The trail meanders along the west side of a ridge, so mostly hidden from the morning sun. However, there is one patch where the trail rises, and a cluster of trees is fully exposed to the sun’s rays.
It is here, in this sunbathed avian oasis, where hundreds of birds gather. In the branches above — Stellar’s Jays, Mourning Doves, and Acorn Woodpeckers. In the brush below — Dark-eyed Juncos, California Towhees, and White-crowned Sparrows. And, no doubt, countless other varieties I haven’t yet identified. All singing with gusto their beguiling songs in unorganized unison.
I’ve made it a practice to linger here in stillness every day. To be bathed in the vibratory shower of cheeps and chirps, trills and twitters, and infinite other flavors of notes and melodies. And as I let the vibrations pass through me, the static inside and around me dissolves. I notice a gentle, gradual restoration of clarity and coherence in my thoughts and emotions.
Ambling through this patch of forest is kind of like traveling through an energetic car wash. I am cleansed and polished, and emerge on the other side shining like new.
I wanted to share this with you today because I know so many of us are transitioning out of lockdown. And that can be a bit disorienting.
To me, there’s no getting back to normal. But there is taking the next step on our winding path. We have the opportunity in every moment to set down what no longer is in affinity with who we are. We can release the noise. And at the same time, we can carry forward those things that do resonate with our unfolding selves.
What are you leaving behind?
What are you carrying forward?
I’m most certainly integrating birdsong into my life, even more than before. Perhaps you’ll be inspired to as well?
If so, here are a few wonderful places to start:
>>>> First, a friend recently turned me on to Sam Lee, an award-winning folk singer, song collector, and environmental activist. (Also my latest crush-from-afar ?.)
Every spring for six weeks Lee hosts immersive experiences in the South-East of England. He takes his guests out into nature after dark and hosts a live, improvised concert (or ceremony) where he duets with the nightingales.
There’s so much I could share about this alluring co-creativity with nature, but I think best to simply invite you to experience it for yourself through these links:
Singing With Nightingales (8 minutes)
Spotify Playlist: Singing With Nightingales
>>>> Second, I invite you to watch The Dawn Chorus, a global film project of scenes and sounds of dawn captured on May 3, 2020 — International Dawn Chorus Day.
This 22-minute film is a collaboration of 35 filmmakers in 13 countries that weaves together the sights and sounds of first light as it circles the planet during lockdown. “A metaphor for hope as we pause and contemplate the version of ourselves and the world we will bring forward as the dawn breaks on this trying time.”
The Dawn Chorus (available to rent for $2, or purchase for $5)
I hope you enjoy these treasures, and may all of our transitions give rise to enchanting melodies that nourish our senses and our souls,
PS – If you would like support during these times of transition — if you want clarity, confidence and healing — I invite you to schedule a reading with me. A private reading is an opportunity to be seen in a grounded space of non-judgment while connecting to the vision of your highest, most authentic expression. Be seen, supported, and connected to your highest truth. To schedule your next session, book directly through this link.