Outside my open bedroom window its incessant happiness worked its way inside the window and pried my eyes gently open.
Was it happiness? I suppose that’s my interpretation of a birds call.
What causes a bird to sing at midnight?
The clock on the wall worked its rhythmic beat in one ear as I lay still in the night.
The bird in the tree wove her song through the remainder of quiet the clock left behind, the vibrancy of her sound mocking the stillness.
I blinked and watched my ceiling fan rotate. The fan cascaded a pattern of nighttime urban light against a dark ceiling, the type visual pattern that owns its own rhythm.
The clock ticked and the fan rotated with the steady beat of electric impulse. A faint cough came from a distant bedroom and a happy bird sang its song at midnight.
My mind skipped from thought to thought like a smooth rock across the surface of water, never sinking into a specific knowing, just skipping along without time to stop; defying the gravity of serious immersion.
In time, like the rock that must ultimately succumb to gravity, my thoughts slowed as well.
I thought about the steady beat of the clock and compared it to the unexpected song of the bird.
The bird sang with consciousness, while the clock worked from electric impulse.
I thought about the steady beat of life, the day to day slog through convention.
I thought about the iconoclasts of our world, the figures that have dared to march out of step.
I thought about Gandhi. I thought about Martin Luther King.
I thought about running full speed down a track at 55 years of age, training as though I were 20, all for the simple joy of running fast.
I thought about the world’s inventors and explorers, those that defied convention and took risks despite the warnings of conventional wisdom, owning the courage to sing at midnight.
A distinct cooling breeze pushed its way through the window and across the sheets of the bed. The clock ticked its steady mechanical rhythm. The fan twirled along in chorus.
The bird sang in counterpoint, a happy melody of defiance to the birds that sing only in the morning.
The rock skipped across more water and I thought about how happy my life has become as I have grown older. I was wide awake when the rock succumbed to gravity. I finally knew, beneath my sheets and in the company of a solitary defiant singer of happy songs, I knew why we must learn to sing at unconventional times.
I felt gratitude for the knowing, and gratitude for all the birds that sing at midnight.
Photo Credit: The baby photo was shot this weekend in the studio by my pro photographer wife (AKA Brown Eyed Girl)