‘Spring is bursting out all over’

Well it seemed to take forever this year, Spring that is. But now, all of a sudden the hedge rows and verges, the trees and bushes have simply burst into abundance. With this has come the dawn chorus. I know I shouldn’t grumble about the early morning song of the birds but sometimes I’m with dear Adge Cutler and want to scream aloud ‘blackbird I’ll ‘av he’!

I am writing this in May, a month in which we hold National Dawn Chorus day; honestly! Each year on this day we are encouraged to get up at 4.30am and listen to the birds waking up.

At whatever time it comes dawn is in fact a mysterious time of the day. It always comes with a sense that something is beginning, something is new. I used to love the early hours when I did a paper round as well as the free breakfast I got when selling papers at the local Sgts Mess in my home village of Bordon, Hants.   Birdsong has fascinated me ever since I learnt to fly a glider in an open cockpit. Up at 2000ft you could not see any birds (to be truthful I was trying to look where I was going in relation to the ground) but you could hear their individual calls in a way that you can’t from the back garden when there is a general dawn chorus chit chat in the air.

And isn’t life like this so often, full of chit chat to the point of distraction. I mean, all we want is to know clearly what to do and where we are going in life, but the ‘chorus’ makes it complex.  I read in the bible that Jesus found he needed to get away from the chorus and the chit chat and would ‘withdraw’ to a place nearby, often at dawn, to pray – to seek to hear the single voice of the Father for guidance and support in the day ahead.

When people came to him and asked him to teach them prayer his way he gave them two bits of advice. First, he said to use the words of what we call the Lord’s Prayer. Second,  he said when you pray get away from the hubbub, from the chorus of confusion in the world about you, find a quiet place and time and pray. For it is in the quiet place and time that we are able to hear best, whether this is an empty church or open field, whether it is in the stillness of the dawn or middle of the afternoon.

May you be able to find stillness and peace in life and a place where the ‘chorus’ is blotted out and the voice of ‘Our Father’ might come to you in love and wisdom.

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