Monday, November 7, 2011

In the Leafy Treetops

In the leafy tree-tops 
The birds sing good morning
How do you do they say
How do you do today
In the leafy tree tops
The birds sing good morning

In the chill and calm of an early Sabbath November morning-after the pyrotechniques of Guy Fawkes night, my husband and I were serenaded by English starlings.  This was to be the last such breakfast of the usual eggs, bacon, carmelized carrots and avocado (no, it never gets old) on our rooftop terrace overlooking London for quite a while – perhaps even until the Spring when I permanently return from Philadelphia.

The last two and a half weeks have been quite the European adventure, starring a gallant husband, dinner with a Supreme Court Justice, the Vienna choir boys, the Gospel Choir of Greater London, German law students and scholars, and very close and new friends here in London.

Yet possibly the most memorable moment of all came this morning when the starlings of Primrose Hill came to sing on an antenna not six feet from our rooftop breakfast table.  One bird can make several different sounds at once—a chirping sound, one that runs up the scale, and a more throaty vibrating sound.  If not watching the one-bird-band sing, one could imagine they were hearing several birds in chorus. 

The serenity of the moment was perhaps emphasized by the juxtaposition of the night before, when we had watched a torrent of professional and amateur fireworks exploding in every direction across London from the same spot.  Good friends had huddled with us there until the spitting mists and the chill drove us downstairs for a rip-roaring game of Taboo.

But now, rising early with the birds, the world was ours.  It was peaceful and beautiful and scientifically awe-inspiring all in one.  One golden little memory of London and quiet moments with my husband to take back with me to the States.

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