It’s 4:30 am and I am wide awake.

The Carpenter just left for work. I lay in bed and listen for the sound of his truck door to shut, the turn of the ignition bringing the engine to life, and the soft rattle of the tools in the back of his truck as they roll in motion. 

His day starts where my dreams usually begin, in the last hours of sleep. But not today. Too many thoughts. It’s Monday.

Internal dialogue has occupied the peaceful void where sleep belongs.

Did I leave the cat outside? I got the laundry off the line, right? Yes, I did.

Did I pay the cable bill? Wait – did I even receive the cable bill? My car payment comes out today. I forgot to check the bank balance. Best do that before I go to the office. Must reschedule that appointment. I forgot to mail that card, too. Stamps. Get stamps.

The dialogue shifts inward. I should be a better person (wife, mother, friend). I should volunteer. No, I should spend more time with my family. Yes. I should get a thicker skin. I should exfoliate.

Sleep, Kelly. Just close your eyes and sleep. One more hour. Hush.

And just like someone flipped a switch, outside my window a chorus erupts. The dawning sun is greeted by the most beautiful sound of birds. So much chatter, it’s electric. It’s comical and beautiful.

On any other day, it could border on annoying, but today it’s the only voice that can interrupt my inner dialogue. My head gets quiet. I am captivated by the sound of nature.

The chickadees chirp, but the robins have the volume. They are calling one another from every corner of the neighbourhood. You can hear their conversations ricochet off the fence lines.

My feathered friends are oblivious to the start of another work week (I must have let the cat in.)

Then I hear the song of my favourite fellow: Sir Red, a handsome cardinal that perches in our cedar trees and calls out for his mate over and over again, always in perfect time.

I am usually too busy to listen to their romantic exchange. Today, I am eavesdropping. His persistent song is confident, and I find myself keeping count to his notes. I can hear the branches move as he flits about, settles in and then begins another round of song. 

Somewhere, a few yards away, Lady Red answers. It’s faint but I hear her and so does he. The cedar swings as he flies off to be with her.

Then, as sudden as it began, the chatter of the choir is silenced. A soft rain begins. I am lulled into a state of comfort I could not have anticipated just half an hour before. Drowsy contentment. Sleep finds me.

And then, my alarm clock goes off. Of course it does, because life is funny like that.

But instead of frustration, I feel joy. It’s all a sign.

Stop your chatter. Just listen. Lean into time; don’t struggle against it.

It’s just another Monday. Just a day. Get up. Fluff your feathers. Sing your song. It’s time to fly.

You’ve got this.


Kelly Waterhouse