Sometimes it is during the hardest and most challenging circumstances of our lives that we are most deeply surprised and touched by beauty. During the Israeli bombardment of Beirut in 1982, the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish was stunned by the persistence of the birds that never ceased to take advantage of early morning to break into song.
“They’ve kept the tradition of neutral song ever since they found themselves alone with the first glimmer of light,” he wrote. “For whom do they sing in the crush of these rockets? They sing to heal their nature of a night that has passed…. The birds clear their own space in the smoke of that burning city, and the zigzagging arrows of sound wrap themselves around the shells and point to an earth safe under the sky.”
The steadfastness of the birds reminded the author that a normal life had existed once in that troubled place and perhaps could exist again someday. What hard time in your life did one of nature’s “traditions” pull you out of darkness for a joyful moment or two?
- Hofhuizen: "The Painted Bird" by Willem Hofhuizen