“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.