One of the advantages of our new worship format is that all doors remain open during worship. How often have we heard the uplifting and joyous singing of our feathered friends in the midst of worship? (They are not to be outdone by the crows, who announce that the sugar is now out on the tables for our morning fellowship coffee.)
There is nothing quite as soothing to the frazzled mind than this musical medicine. A Swedish study carried out in 2010 revealed that we recover from stress more quickly if we listen to natural sounds such as birdsong or trickling water. Scientists are not sure why this is, but they observe bodily stress measurements drop far faster if we listen to birdsong.
The power of birdsong to calm the human soul is a great treasure.
One wonderful thing about sheltering in place is we, less bound by clocks and schedules, we can sleep with the windows cracked open, and awake with the glorious racket of mourning doves, robins, finches and the Pacific-slope flycatcher.
So, before your day properly begins, lie in bed and have your mind and thoughts calmed by a dose of nature’s own finest therapy.
“Hail to thee, blithe spirit!
Bird thou never wert,
That from heaven, or near it,
Pourest thy full heart
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art!
Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ode to a Skylark, 1819