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Be grateful for luck. Pay the thunder no mind – listen to the birds. And don’t hate nobody. ~Eubie Blake

They are back. I heard them as I lay awake in bed this morning. Some of them never left, never made the long journey, never caught the currents of cooler air and soared to warmer climes. Perhaps they were always there and I was just unaware.

I slept with my windows open last night, slept with them open because Chicago has been embraced by unseasonable warmth, record warmth this mid March year, a warmth that is, possibly, a portent to an unusually warm Spring, of the Spring season that is knocking at our door. Slept? Slept is a misnomer for the time I lay prone in my bed during the dark hours of the day, the hours before the sun brings life to animals and people alike.

My eyes slowly opened to the pitch darkness in the early hours of the morning as I came to consciousness after a fitful sleep when I became aware of them. The fitful sleep that is typically a burden I suffer upon returning from Europe, a burden that takes the better part of a week to morph into my regular sleep rhythms.

The benefit of not being able to sleep tonight was to hear them, to hear the birds tweeting and twittering and singing in full voice. The songs remind me that the earth will soon be awakening from Winter sleep that trees will bud and flowers will bloom and people will emerge from their hovels for months of frolicing, for months of mayhem, for months of life living before returning to the long slumber of Winter. The benefit of not being able to sleep tonight was to be made aware of the glory of God’s creation.


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