Okay, I get it. We endured a brutally long, frigid winter and a damp, late spring. Mother Nature has her imperatives which includes creatures reproducing. Since the pesticide ban of about half a dozen years ago, the wildlife in our back yard has flourished to the point where I sometimes think we are living in some Jurassic Park era jungle. Squirrels, chipmunks, mice, hares, rabbits, skunks, raccoons, lots of good and bad bugs and more flying creatures than I can catalog.
But why oh why do those reproducing birdies have to start their mating songs at 4:26 in the morning, before there is even a hint of sunrise blush in the sky? That’s usually when I stumble into the bathroom after a decent night’s sleep – must be the farm-girl gene still hard at work after 50 years of urban living. First one starts just outside our wide-open bedroom window – a few light sweet notes. Then another replies from the stand of trees along the north side of the house, than layered choruses (chori?) of warbles and cheery-ups and other calls until we are inundated by a cacophony of bird-music. I think the little buggers do it on purpose – we’ve taken over their nesting grounds so they’ll take over our sleep time. Get on with the mating and shut up, why don’t you? I’ve sat through more restrained crescendos at operas, for heaven’s sake.
I tuck myself back under the still-warm covers. Lying flat on my back, I try to meditate. Sometimes it works; other times, my brain fires up with thoughts of all of the things I want to get done during the day. Do I want to plug on my earbuds and listen to some more of the John Sandford mystery? Nah, it’s too early for serial killers and gore. Instead, I try to will myself to sleep. For me, that stolen 90 minutes of sleep before the alarm clock dings is the most satisfying. But the damned birds are keeping me awake. Hookup and make some babies, why don’t you? Ah, but it’s still too dark to fly. Unlike humans, they need light to do their thing.
I listen to Hub’s gentle breathing. His face is turned towards me on the pillow. My heart swells as I peer at him in the brightening darkness. I love the calm smoothness of his resting expression, the steady comfort of his regular deep breathing. He radiates warmth.
At 5:45, when the sun is starting to blast through the seams of the dark bedroom curtains, the noise stops as if someone slammed shut the lid on a birdsong music box. I’m still awake. Another day.
I give thanks and close my eyes. I match the rhythm of my breath with the rise and fall of my Beloved’s chest. Forty-five minutes to go before the alarm goes off. I’ll take it.