Ramblings from the Cove...

October 2005

By Lars Gren

Have you noticed that the birds are wont to sing as late as mid-August and by the end of September a chirp is rare and a song nearly unheard? Now I don't count crows and sea gulls for they never cease their racket -- well almost never -- the gulls who are perpetually angry and ever complaining go at it through the four seasons. But I do wonder why most cease their song. This spring our returning male wren, after the nest had been refurbished, began about 5 a.m. in a nearby tree giving its call and continued the same for the whole day while the female hunkered down on her job. Was he was letting her know that he was standing guard and cheering her on? When the new birds feeding frenzy ended, the "parents" wings, I suppose, were about worn out, the youngsters escaped the house and the older generation grew silent. Do you suppose that they had the empty nest syndrome? Depressed, needing a therapist to aid them in the loss of that joyful sound? Do they have a memory of how it was in spring when life was fresh -- the excitement of finding a mate -- upgrading the nest -- the first chirp -- and now the impending migration, which I think is in full swing? Might that be a cause of worry for the creatures? Could that lead to "wing tendonitis" or is there a bird arthritis? But then, birds don't worry, do they? Not if this little verse that Elisabeth learned as a child is true:

Said the Robin to the Sparrow: "I should really like to know
Why these anxious human beings rush about and worry so."
Said the Sparrow to the Robin: "Friend, I think that it must be
That they have no heavenly Father such as cares for you and me."

The silence of the birds...is it an early clue that fall is coming before we notice the subtle hints -- a yellow leaf, a few red ones until a spectrum of hues awes us followed by the separation as withered leaves gently lie on the ground and I call for my helper, "Get the rakes."

As "September Song" tells us "The days grow shorter as we reach December." The days are shorter and so are the years -- well the remaining ones. The subtle hints are there: the slower step, the changing gait, the stooped shoulders, the "It was in the month of June" syndrome..."No it was April...in '01... no in '89...Ah yes, I remember it well." Not alone are the leaves. Possible depression coming? Not so! As the Psalmist writes "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." The promise of spring and new life is in the soul, a cause for thanksgiving, which may be why the birds sing seemingly without end in early spring and why my grandfather said to me, "Syng Lars, det letter livets tunge gang," meaning "Sing Lars, it lifts life's heavy burdens." I was about 8 years old and must have been a bit "down." Was it fall? It could have been and now it is fall at The Haven, waiting for the cold, damp, dark, early winter nights, which I enjoy. It must be the Norwegian bent towards melancholy.


God bless y'all,

L and E

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