With each new day there is a chorus of birds chirping and flitting about from one branch to another announcing the dawn. Content to rejoice as the sun shines upon their places, bringing them warmth, my slightly weary eyes open one at a time. It is dawn, a new beginning.
I enjoy the sound of our feathered friends. Their work, as heralds, never disappoints me. And so as the dawn of Easter approaches it is a good time to think upon their work – how the song of birds…birdsong afar…in France, Flanders and elsewhere has and continues to be nature’s hymn amidst and after the tumult of war.
…and in the sky…The larks, still bravely singing, fly…Scarce heard amidst the guns below.
(John McCrae, In Flanders Fields, published December 8, 1915)
When I go to a Commonwealth War Graves cemetery…it is like walking into a very beautiful church and you have to be silent…there is usually no music except birdsong and it’s a time for reflection.
(Michael Morpurgo. Silent Witnesses, The Cemeteries of the Somme, CWGC, 2016)
Nature’s hymn, the song of birds adds the soundtrack to our wanderings of these silent cities. These guardians announce themselves upon our arrival and continue their song, without audience, upon our leaving. Within their realm we see new life reborn, nature’s cycle of gentle green grass, the colour of flowers and the weeping of trees tending these gardens of souls whose shortened lives knew their song.