“Birds are like people,” he said, holding a biscuit to Hana’s face. “This bird is here because it’s a good place. There’s food and there’s safety.

“When a bird doesn’t like a situation, it protects itself and stays away. No matter where you are in the world, if you see a bird in a place, it’s a good place, a safe place, a place that sustains life.”

~ Lin Chi-sheng.

I wake up at 4.45 am every morning and bring in various sounds in my neighbourhood that I have grown used to over the last 23 years.  The first sound is the ten bell signal that the boarding school from across the road rings to awaken the boarders when they are in residence.  The bell rings even when the school is closed for vacations like it is just now for the summer holidays.  This always intrigued me till I found out that the signal is for those few boys who stay on even during vacations because they either have to take special lessons during vacations or because their parents are overseas and the boys are allowed to join them only once a year.  The bells also awaken the kitchen for the school.

Around 5.00 am I sit for my hour long meditation and from around 5.15 am the birds start to wake up and for about half an hour there is a cacophony of various birds like bulbuls, mynahs, crows, bharadwajs and pigeons throughout the year and in the various seasons, other birds like the babblers and cranes too.  I have got used to the sound of the birds and it does not disturb me in the least during my meditation.

We have a small garden in the front of our home where too birds come to feed on insects and bird seed that we strew there.  We get sparrows, pigeons, mynahs and bulbuls beside fly catchers in the season.  We have also had the occasional eagle landing to pick up something dropped either by it or some other bird.

Our home incidentally is just about a kilometer away from a bird sanctuary located on the bank of our local river the Mulamutha.

So, since we get so many birds, I suppose that our neighbourhood is  a good place, a safe place, a place that sustains life.” as suggested by Lin Chi-sheng.

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19 Responses to Birds.

  1. Hitchcock’s The Birds forever ruined birds for me. That and the unrelenting carpet bombing by the seagulls back in the Bay Area and the gackles here in ft worth

    • Yes, that is one movie that I would not like to see ever again. I really started to notice them only after we moved to this place and started sitting out in the veranda in the mornings while having tea and reading the papers. I got hooked.

  2. tammyj says:

    in all my eastern philosophy reading… i have never come across that quote. thank you rummy. it is truly beautiful.
    i love the sound of my birds out the window. even at night there is occasionally the sound of the mocking bird. they apparently don’t keep the same hours the others do!
    and… the secrets post was wonderful. the kind of talks my bob and i used to have. secrets of the very soul.
    and like you say… a feeling of lightness and connection!
    tammyj recently posted..yes. a romantic

    • Thank you Tammy. That quote came my way from a bird watcher who keeps abreast with global birders. Ah, the kind of secrets that you talk about are in a different league altogether! I can never write about them.

  3. Alan G says:

    Lin Chi-sheng indeed knows his birds. I particularly like the spring and summer when the birds are most plentiful around the yard. I spend a part of almost every morning drinking my coffee and watching birds live their lives in the area surrounding my patio. You can learn a great deal just by observing them living their lives and trying to cope with the obstacles that we humans put in their paths.

    Unfortunately however their choices for a safe place are not too well thought out. Just last week I reached in my mail box to get may mail and pulled out a huge handful of nesting material. Ended up about three handfuls before I got it cleaned out. It’s always a good idea to close the top on your mail boxes during nesting season. Little tiny Wrens are especially drawn to mail boxes for nesting sites. It won’t be but a day or so and they will have relocated and finished their nest – probably in one of my window boxes.
    Alan G recently posted..Bob Newhart & His Button-Down Mind….

    • We have a hedge in which birds build nests and it is fascinating to see them there. Perhaps you should just build some nests for them so that they leave the mail box alone!

  4. I, too, have birds in my yard. A robin sat on the front porch rail this morning, looking boldly at my husband through the window. We have a lovely garden and feed the birds away from the reach of the neighborhood cats. I’m happy to realize that they feel safe.
    Talk to Me…I’m Your Mother recently posted..Our Daughters, Our Sisters

    • Alley cats chased away the sparrows that used to nest in our garden till we got a pup. Now that the cats don’t come into the garden, the sparrows are back!

  5. Grannymar says:

    Robins, wrens, finches, house sparrows, collared doves and magpies, all add to the morning chorus, an hour before dawn, outside my window. Down in the valley, a small river runs parallel to my house and the far bank is a bird reserve. I can enjoy the air display from my kitchen sink as the geese and swans take to the skies.
    Grannymar recently posted..Sunday one liners ~ 28

  6. We don’t have as many birds as you do, but once we had gazillions up on the land. Andy, Kaitlin and I had spread grass seed over our clearing. For weeks when we went up there flocks of birds scattered. Needless to say, we didn’t get much grass.
    Cheerful Monk recently posted..Planning Ahead

    • We chose not to have a lawn and instead paved the garden with stone and planted grass only in the gaps. It is quite attractive and easier to maintain besides keeping the mosquitoes away that our neighbours get in hoards because of their lawns.

  7. Big John says:

    I enjoy watching the birds who visit my garden, although I could do without the seagulls ‘redecorating’ my patio, especially when I’m sitting on it ! … 🙂

  8. kylie says:

    you meditate for a full hour every day? that’s impressive. and it shows.
    kylie recently posted..enforced insomnia

  9. Becky Byrd says:

    That just sounds Heavenly (or I learned a new word last week). In my little neighborhood, there are no really nice, big trees (I think it’s because all the wiring is underground and our houses are so close together), thus very few birds come to visit. That is the thing I miss most about living here. In my previous home, I had many old, beautiful trees and so many birds and squirrels… and I think my soul aches for them. I do have a couple of wrens that come by occasionally, so all is not lost – just most. I know I am in the right place for now; but I long for the day when I can have my trees and animals back around me. If I can ever get the money together, I want to plant in my yard – it’s so barren! This house is 10 years old and they never did anything to the yards. If I can’t have big trees, at least I could have a small one and tons of wildflowers in the back yard! (The front must be kept “neatly” because it’s in the Home Owner’s Association guidelines. I will never understand why so many people here consider wildflowers to be weeds. I think of them as God’s flowers and a blessing.

    • That word swargly should be used with caution Becky. Just an a at the end would make it to mean “the late”, or to be more accurate, “now in heaven”. The trees direclty opposite to our home and also a few along the same side of the road were planted by me and nursed in the initial stages by my swargiya patni twenty four years ago. The birds started coming to nest from about five after we had planted them. I too do not consider wild flowers as weeds and allow them to flourish in my garden.

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