As the sun began painting the trees outside my home this morning I placed a record on the turntable, Vivaldi’s Concerto in C Major for Bassoon and Strings, F.VIII:33. Before hearing the first notes of the disc-enabled music, I heard birds singing from beyond the windows as if they were laying down a blanket of sound to welcome the bassoon.
I’ve not attended many early-morning bird concerts in my lifetime. As a kid, during summer breaks, I read the Hardy Boys books or biographies well past midnight, waking closer to noon than dawn. I loved reading at night. It was like a blanket one wraps for comfort, calm, and security. My childhood pattern of nocturnal reading took root in my life.
However, my night owl ways changed a year ago when I committed to a 6 am small group workout class. The new physical activity, and the alarm, jolted my system. I only did it to get in shape but along the way my body and mind began welcoming the early morning hours as a gift of awareness.
As I’ve grown older it’s been challenging to read late into the evening. I nod off in a chair, with my book or reading device falling from my fingers to the floor. But now, on most days, I wake at 5 am without the aid of an alarm. I read, write, hear birds, see the colors, and appreciate the morning with its gentle arrival sparking gratitude and reflection.
Today, as the bassoon weaved its way amongst the strings, I realized I’d been sitting at the turntable, in a daze, brought on by this dawn concert of birds, bassoon, and strings. The concerto was written around 300 years ago. The bassoonist Daniel Smith and the English Chamber Orchestra along with the birds outside my home made music as if they’d been performing together for centuries.
I don’t know what Vivaldi was thinking as he penned the notes. I just know his music and the birds of today made a sound that woke my soul to awe, peace, joy, and hope for the day.