Friday, September 16, 2011

New Light on Dawn Birds

I had written of birds that sing while it is still dark--dawn birds, they call them in South Africa--which present a beautiful image of faith to me: singing in the dark, before the sun signals the beginning of a new day.

Today I add a tidbit.

Birds perched higher in the trees and those with larger eyes tend to start up first in the dawn chorus, leading researchers to believe their jump-start correlates with the amount of light they are able to perceive.

Able to perceive...I think on that.

Some birds are just better equipped physically to take in more light.

Individual differences account for varying abilities in the natural and the human world. We do not have the same attributes and strengths as someone else. There is the temptation to let a perceived limitation define us which could keep us in the dark far longer than we need be.

And some birds just position themselves at the place where the sun shines first. Sounds so simple: Go where the light is.

Are not our actions the result of what we habitually think, then do? Do we choose to position ourselves in the places where we can be infused with the warmth of supportive community? Do we go where we have the best chances of seeing the light of day--of getting clarity and vision and insight beyond our own perspective?

Charlie Peacock wrote a song in 1991--already a generation ago--with this catchy chorus my girls knew, complete with motions, from summer camp:

I wanna be in the light
As You are in the light
I wanna shine like the stars in the heavens
Oh Lord be my light and be my salvation
Because all I want is to be in the light

Images of light abound in scripture.

"And he shall be like the light of the morning when the sun rises..." 2 Samuel 23:4

"The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?" Psalm 27:1

"For the Lord shall be your everlasting light." Isaiah 60:20

"In your light we see light." Psalm 36:9

"I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in me, shall not abide in darkness." John 12:46

International Dawn Chorus Day-- did you know there was such a thing?-- urges all to rise early and listen for the songs of the dawn birds. I don't think we have that in the US, but surely we can tune in for each day's gift of God's presence at daybreak. In Him there is no darkness at all!


Photo of goldfinch (the last to sing of the most common dawn birds in the UK): ArminM, used with creative commons license permission


  1. Saint Francis of Assisi prays:

    Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
    Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
    where there is darkness, light;

    International Dawn Chorus Day

    I like this idea. Didn't knew it existed. But I've been known for getting up at dawn and needing to see the day being born in the horizon (I'm lucky, as I seat on my kitchen steps and see the day - and the world with it - being born). I usually do this when I'm pretty down and crave to see His Miracle. It's like an reinforcemente of what you say:

    In Him there is no darkness at all!

    Wishing you a Happy and Blessed Week,