I stopped in my tracks. The bird’s song was loud and shrill yet sweet and melodic. And directly in my left ear. I turned, expecting to dig through branches and foliage in an effort to find the soloist of this spring melody. Instead, I found myself looking eye to eye with a pint-sized diva perched proudly on a fencepost; feathers flared, head held high, chest puffed out.
The Song Sparrow drew in another deep breath, paused, and I swear, he looked me in the eye and winked. Then he threw back his head and bellowed out another springtime chorus. I stood there in amazement, frozen to the spot. In all my years of watching birds, I have never had a bird sing to me. You will say that I just happened to pass by as the bird was doing what birds do. I will say that he was singing to me. I believe this because he did it three more times and yes, he winked every time.
This was my sparrow singing a song without words. But the refrain contained a clear message of spring, hope, and peace. The denotation of the chorus was renewal. Its significance was philosophical even without vocabulary. Its tune told my story, my life, my journey, my purpose, and God’s love through it all.
My heart beat in time with its cadence. I closed my eyes and breathed deeply the warm spring air. I felt the sunlight on my face. I smiled.
I do not know how long I stood there. It may have been moments. I could have been days. But when I opened my eyes, the sparrow was waiting. The sparrow was watching, as if allowing me time to find my center. He was looking at me with patient attendance. I lowered my head in reverence. As I raised my eyes to meet his, I thanked him. The gratitude was not merely in my mind or heart. I literally spoke the words to the sparrow, “Thank You.” He never moved from his post as if knowing this is exactly where he belonged.
As I turned to walk away, my heart was light, my mind was clear, and my life had renewed purpose. I turned to look over my shoulder at my sparrow. In that moment, he raised his head, opened his beak, and continued his song.