Like the Birds Returning Home, You Will Sing Again

Sherri Woodbridge avatar

by Sherri Woodbridge |

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It was a warm afternoon on the last day of March 2020. I was inundated with winged creatures hovering up and over me, fluttering to and fro, and flapping up and down in my backyard. They included everything from ladybird beetles yielding black spots on yellow shields for wings to soft, peaceful butterflies flitting among the trees. Birds busied themselves preparing for their new family members. Others fed their young.

My grandson and I watched as seven Anna’s hummingbirds fed at one feeder, gorging themselves on sugar water. I hadn’t had more than two at a time before that. Simply superb.

The trees that stood outside my back fence were overflowing with miraculous, magical, multifeathered winged beings that hid among the the branches, dodging the snap of my camera shutter. 

We spotted one male grosbeak, the first of the season.

Three acorn woodpeckers graced us with their presence, as well as more than 13 American goldfinches. 

One house finch couple flew in and alighted on a branch with a hanging feeder full of sunflower seeds. They promptly had a quick snack and then flew away.

Two golden-crowned sparrows and one nesting Bewick’s wren and her mate were comfortably nestled in the bottom birdhouse that was attached to a fence post.

Two Bullock’s orioles patiently waited from afar for their plate to be filled with sweet grape jelly.

Two red-winged blackbirds, two downy woodpeckers, and two unwanted scrub jays visited us that beautiful spring day.

Then, one afternoon in October, before we knew it, those birds that flitted and fluttered, flapped and flew, disappeared from their homes, having been licked by the flames of a wildfire. All of the trees went up in flames, and their homes burned to the ground.

Now it is the last day of March, exactly a year later, and I am going through my journal. I find this — the telling of spring and the life therein on that day exactly a year ago. I read about all of the bird visitors that stopped by last year to sing their songs in my backyard. 

However, today it is much quieter outside than it was a year ago. Although it is much quieter, songs are being sung in the bushes nearby, up on the rooftops, and in the few trees that escaped the flames in the fall.

I think of the birds and how their songs are usually so cheerful. Yes, some birds, like the mourning dove, have a mournful song or a melancholy cry like that of the whippoorwill. But today, the birds were singing happy songs. 

I thought of how they had lost their homes, but the ones who could return did, and they are now busy rebuilding their lives. Just like we need to do when bad things happen to us. 

You may have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and feel as if your whole world is falling apart, as if the flames of that disease have rid you of everything you held dear. But just like those birds, you will sing again. Have hope; it may take a season or two, but you will find your voice, and you will sing. Just like the birds.


Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.


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