Saturday, March 8, 2014
A Morning's Meditation
Since I am blessed with not having a job that starts in the morning, most days I have the luxury of waking up slowly, allowing my body to adjust to consciousness...to think, to pray, to meditate before rising. It's a gift I don't take lightly.
Usually I am awakened by the mockingbirds who live in our backyard, which is the one slight negative to the whole experience, because to me mockingbirds are the car alarms of the avian world.
In case you are unfamiliar, the mockingbird's song sounds something like this: "Cheep cheep! Blurt Blurt! Waaooo,Waaaaoooo,Waaoooo,Waaooo! Reeeeet Reeeeet. Meh! Meh! Meh!"
Car alarms, on the other hand, sound something like this: "Woo, woo, woo, woo! Meh! Meh! Meh! Wahooo, Wahooo, Wahooo Wahoo! Aaat, aaat, aaat, aaat, aaat!"
You can see the similarities.
But other than the mockingbirds, the Dawn Chorus is a wonderful way to be awakened each morning, and for some reason I was very conscious of that today. While I was laying in bed thinking, I tried to remember what mornings were like at our last house, the one in the suburbs.
Since we lived 1/4 miles away from an extremely busy rail line, my morning usually began with two or three trains rumbling by, blowing their horns when they reached each intersection. (This had gone on through the night as well, but that's another story.) Some engineers seemed to like to blow the horns of their trains more than others. For some, I suspect it was the reason they lived, breathed, and went faithfully into work each day. It was all about the horn.
Or maybe an engineer's ex-wife lived in our neighborhood, and he passed the word to his engineer buddies to make sure she never got a good night's sleep again, after breaking his heart. That was actually the preferred working theory of mine, back when I lived there.
Anyway, now it's about 5:00 am in my old neighborhood, which means it's time for the neighbor down the street who always forgot he had a working car alarm to open his car door in his driveway to leave for work, setting the alarm off (see the "car alarm" description above for what this sounded like).
Then usually about 6:15 or so, the neighbors across the street would leave for work and the day care drop-off at the school. They would start their car, and immediately the "thump, thump, thump!" of their mega-stereo's bass line would begin, followed by some (usually) obscene rap lyrics. They would go back into the house and back to the car approximately 50 times in the next 10 minutes, slamming the car doors each time they entered or egressed the vehicle, leaving the engine running and the stereo booming the whole time. They'd finally decide to officially shove off, kids in tow, and would leave for work and school soon after.
And the "De-Boom Boom BOOM" of the bass would trail off as they drove down the street.
Of course if it was a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday morning, I would probably already be awake, because our neighborhood was first in line for trash pick-up, and the garbage/recycling and greenwaste trucks would come by about 5 a.m. to start their rounds....4:30 in summer.
If there were any mockingbirds singing on those mornings, I never heard them, because my fellow man pretty much had the sound meter pegged with humanity's din.
And this particular morning meditation today, as I lay in bed with a few acres in between me and my closest neighbor, made me mindful that the cry of mockingbirds is really, not such a bad sound to wake up to after all.