The Song and the Sky

The sky had a peculiar countenance this morning. It’s a horrible cliché, but there is no escaping that it really did look like a painting. Usually it is the buildings which seem inanimate, whilst the sky shifts and moves behind them, changing in colour and shape, the light in a constant state of flux. Today it was the sky that was static – gorgeous pastels of pale blue and lilac, dotted with gentle white clouds, lighted by a pinkish orange sunrise, and all breathtakingly still. And in front of this painted canvas, it was the building and streets and cars that felt alive, luminous in the rays of the early morning winter sun.

A little while later and the sky had altered. The clouds looked a bit more than a flat painting – there was soft texture and a hint of curve and depth. More like flock wallpaper than a painting. A wallpaper sky perhaps?

It was against this backdrop that I finally identified who it was that had been filling the air with song as I arrived at work each morning. It is a glorious song, rich and tuneful, liquid and joyous, but the singer remained a mysterious silhouette, high up in the trees. This morning the light was with me, and I could see a pale coloured, buff bird with a beautiful speckled chest. It was a song thrush and I felt slightly ashamed to have not recognised it straight away. The clue is in the name, after all.

But how splendid, on these cold winter mornings (regardless of the sky, because the song has filled the air on the dankest and greyest of mornings too) to feel the urge to sing like that. It gave me cause to feel something similar and, although the urge to sing went no further than being just that, I went merrily into work with my heart full of song.

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