Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The song of the blackbird

Blackbird and windfalls by David MillerI was sitting in the office with the window open today, and in amongst the sound of traffic from the city street, I could hear a blackbird singing its heart out in the trees outside our window. It's the middle of winter here, but it was a lovely sunny day, and I guess this particular blackbird was just enjoying the sunshine for a change.

It took me straight back to my English childhood - long lazy summer evenings, when the sun takes an age to go down, and twilight lasts for ever. The grass is still warm, and it smells sweet, and dry, and crinkly, and I just want bury my nose in it and drink in the scent. Or maybe I'm walking home from school, and I've taken off my shoes and socks and I'm feeling the coolness of the grass between my toes as I walk along the grass verge. And in the trees all around me, the blackbirds are singing.

Listen to the call of the blackbird (and a bunch of other birds too).

The song of the blackbird is like liquid sunshine flowing over the leaves and branches and trickling down into the grass. So rich and varied, and yet so completely recognisable. It's one of the few things I miss about England, and I'm really looking forward to hearing that summer song again in a few weeks' time.

Isn't it funny how some sounds can instantly transport you to another place, another time? Scents are the same - to this day I can't smell freshly-cut limes without immediately being sent back in time to a beach on Penang 25 years ago when we sat and drank tall glasses of ice-cold fresh lime juice and water. Wonderful!

Lovely links

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