I was up in the very early morning hours the other day. Normally, I’m not up at that time, but when I am, my only company is a ticking grandfather’s clock and the hum of the refrigerator. Not this time.
As I sat writing, I heard a lone bird – chirping, cheeping, whistling, tweeting, singing – loudly and insistently.
I don’t remember hearing birds at that hour before. I wondered why it was up.
I knew why I was awake – ideas jumping around in my brain about an essay I’ve been working on for weeks, which has been driving me crazy for months because I just wasn’t sure what to do with it.
Was the bird working on a new song, like I was working on a new essay? Or was it there to keep me company, tweeting its encouragement and support?
The bird’s vocals lasted for quite a while, much longer than I expected, and then it was gone.
Maybe it figured out its new song. Maybe it thought it had helped me as much as it could, and it was time to fly off to another house where someone else sat wide awake for reasons known only to them. Or maybe it was just tired and finally sleepy, and now it could rest.
Me? After sitting up most of the night, staring at pages and pages of notes, trying to find the meaning of the words scribbled there, I had a glimmer of an idea.
As the clock ticked and the refrigerator hummed, I tapped on the keyboard, the words settling down into a pattern that finally made sense, something I understood, something that would tell the story.