The Bird

It's hard for me to write this, because this post is about a sound and it's a sound that I can only clearly hear from the bathroom, where we have a window facing the yard of the house and, in turn, facing the backs and trees of many others.

This sound is that of a bird, and it's a sound I discovered this summer. We had one of our summer storms one evening and when it finally cleared up and I was getting ready to wash my face, I heard this sound. This bird. It was so strange after the busy noise of thunder and heavy rain. What should have been post-storm quiet was instead a bird reciting sounds.

I thought it was a pet that escaped its house, and I felt awful. I had to force myself away from the window. But I've heard it countless nights since, rain or not. I only hear it at night - I don't know if that's coincidence or if this particular bird is nocturnal.

But it's so relaxing to hear this bit of life that takes me away from where I am. As much as I detest New York City I will admit that where I live is comfortable. Like most cities, NYC has varying degrees of noise pollution depending on where you happen to be situated within it, and I'm glad that we are in a rather quiet area (though not so nervously quiet as can be some suburban areas to those, such as myself, that are much too accustomed to urban life). At night there is the distant sound of cars, planes whispering to and from JFK, wind, the occasional firecracker, and human voice. That small group of sounds makes up quiet for me. This new, small sound from a mysterious bird, mixed with the familiar, reminds me of that quiet. It emphasizes it.

It makes me want to sit outside all night long, now that it's warm enough to be comfortable without sun, and listen. To imagine this small bird and its intentions. I wonder what it sings about, what it recites, and why.

It adds more to the quiet than any absence of sound ever could.

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