The Birds Chirping

I wrote this in my head right after I woke up this morning, but I forget everything about it except for the title, so now I’m just making it all up again.

I’m not sure if I meant to put an apostrophe after “Birds” in the title. I can’t recall if what was salient was that they were chirping birds, or the chirping itself. There’s a subtle difference. A bird is more than its chirp. Regardless, I’m not usually conscious at the crack of dawn, but today I was, so I got to hear the exact moment the birds began to chirp.

It was the precise moment that the sun emerged to say hello to the new day. There didn’t seem to be a moment’s delay. All of the birds sang in, what to my ear, seemed a perfect unison. I wondered if all of the birds were responding to directly to the sun. Or perhaps one saw the sun, and the others followed in a chain reaction of sorts. The smoke detectors in my parents’ house worked that way.

I’m glad that in the previous sentence I knew that I needed the apostrophe. I’m still wondering about the title. Maybe I should change it. This could continue to bother me, but I won’t let it.

I normally don’t notice the birds chirping. I can be sensitive to sounds but I suspect the chirping are kind of like the ocean waves in that our bodies take them as natural and safe. There’s no cause for alarm.

I imagine our ancestors evolved alongside these creatures. Homo sapiens has been around for about 200,000 years and I’d wager birds have been chirping in the morning for at least that long.

It still seems wild to me that we have evolved particular aversions to specific creatures, like snakes and spiders. We just know not to like those. I would like to see where that information is stored in our DNA. I’d also like to see the instruction not to worry about the chirping birds.

Being closer to nature reminds me that our instincts are so powerful. Hearing the birds’ chirping reminds me that evolved in a certain way. We evolved to exist on a planet with 24 hour days and sleep alongside harmless birds that chirp in the mornings. We are changing the world much faster than our bodies can evolve for it.

Our children’s children may live their entire in space stations and on other planets, never once experiencing the homes for which they were made. That makes me a bit sad for them. They will see and think beyond the greatest lengths of my imagination, but I wouldn’t trade this lived experience for that.

I pause when I think that we may be the last amongst the chirping birds. All I can think to do, is appreciate it.