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Chickadee Advice

In the golden hour before the dawn the black-capped chickadees talked amongst themselves, adding more and more high-pitched “dee-dee-dee’s” to their song the closer I walk to them. I’m the intruding loner early in the morning and this is their warning to each other. I may live here, but this isn’t my backyard—it’s always belonged to the birds since the time of dinosaurs. I’m just the latest affront to their ritual. Knowing my place, I behave and sit still to take stock of the waking world around me, assessing the frenzied week and contemplating the week ahead. A bit of stillness listening to chickadees is welcome.

We choose what to pay attention to. Away from the din of urgency and outrage we might hear our own voice. We choose how we’ll react to whatever happens in our days. Each quiet morning offers a sabbatical of sorts. We need a bit of stillness now and then. A measure of calm between our storms to set the sails for what comes next. In stillness we decide what to do and be next.

In the hushed quiet hour before the sunrise, those dee-dee-dee’s say something entirely different to us humans, if we’ll listen carefully to the call we’ll hear our own voice: Decide what you’ll be, be, be! Go on and see, see, see!

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