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Earthsongwave Conversations

Indigo Bunting, Jamie K. Reaser (with thanks)

Dawn chorus sunrise

Songs l forgot how to hear

Try again, they say.

Kristopher Drummond

(with thanks)

I'm awake at 2 in the morning listening to a blackbird singing in the dead of a dark night. As you may know from previous blogsongs, l’m usually woken by him nearer to the dawning. But, here, now, at 2am he doesn’t stop singing all night. How can l not stay awake, attentive, listening with his lyrical tunes echoing around the ancient stone walls of Dunbar and inside my open heart. He stands, singing from the top of the telegraph pole which gives him the echoing sounding stage. It’s like he's singing a homage to an invisible God/Goddess, and maybe he too is feeling the return of the sun to the Northern Hemisphere. All night long, he just keeps singing on; all night, as if the very world’s breath depends on his song to continue.

When was the last time you felt that way, awake all night in praise and wonder as if your song and listening mattered that much for the world’s breath to continue?

I continue wondering what is so different about this particular night when he sings so exquisitely until after sunrise. Is he serenading his beauty lover who comes to my garden door for sultanas? Perhaps he's delighting with the forthcoming creative nesting and egg season. They have a nest here with many other birds including blue tits and great tits on the old wall covered in thick ivy at the end of my garden. Last year these two birds alone hatched five chicks throughout the summer months, and who, delightedly for me, also sang at my door.

I’ve not known him to sing through a night before. Other birds begin to join in. First the seagulls. They are very loud with their intelligent array of cries that l need to listen intently to find, yes, he is still singing out! Then the sparrow, wrens, and ring-necked doves sing into this now symphony.

An image arrives: invisible chord strands creating webs of the world being sung into being in a way life is born to sing; the blackbird knows.

Currently, chord strands are not being sung in and from our dominant human cultures to the Earth and Earth Community; songs that offer weavings out, into and from the webs of Earth. Perhaps ozone and other unholy holes are made when humans don’t join in the Earthsong, don't sing into and honour the invisible webs of being. Perhaps instead falling awake all night in sleepless stress and grief, feeling with Earth's body.

Nature-based indigenous cultures know this, of course; know the particular magic and enchantments needed in now weaving the forgotten imaginal fields of song and sound, the particular tunes that each one of us brings to sing. Perhaps our activism in these urgent times is needed as much in the intangible realms as the tangible; learning once more to connect with unsung songs.

So when was the last time you stayed awake or woken by an honour tending singing, with a feeling of something beyond you unseen and maybe just waiting on the edge of your awareness for you to move towards? What if this magnificent and holy Earth is depending on just that, on you listening, singing notes that only you can sing in all time into the webs of the world. Here's just the opportunity for you.

Sing on, you reverences …

Blackbird song in the early hours of late March 2023


Earthsongwave Dawn Chorus, Saturday 1 April at dawn wherever you are around Earth. You are invited to sing into different kinds of webs, weave with life as if it really matters … listen … Earthsong ...

Please share with one person, then if they share with another….. the wave will grow. See the website link below for resources for this self organised ‘Feed the Earth’ Ceremony. There are also postings on the Earthsongwave Dawn Chorus 2023 Facebook Page. You can read many other beauty blogsongs from many singers, poets, artists and more on the blog page link below.

Whilst Earthsongwave Dawn Chorus is a self organised ceremony, you are also welcome to send in experiences. We love to read/see/listen to them.

Wend is a Renaissance woman-creature, a wild nature-based soul guide and mentor, poet, writer, photographer, teacher. With a Cailleach’s Eye she sees, listens and speaks words and questions who are more like portals into further mysteries. She invites and sparks us deeper into the curiosity and wonder of being reshaped and sung rather than neat solutions and answers. She is a life-time agent of cultural evolution, devoted to Earth's Dreaming and human transformation as part of Earth Community.

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We were spinning—all of us—on a tilt toward the east. On our way, we were met by ever-expanding rosy hues of light. Then, golds. Then, blues—vast blues. We were entranced by beauty. Awakened from our dispirited slumber. In awe. Birds sang—sang from every tree and bush. There were many then—many birds, many trees and, of course, bushes. The birds, they sang out testimonials—declarations. It was all about their beingness, their pleasures. They threw their heads way back and, beaks wide, to the sky they sang. It was something to behold by sight and by ear. You could feel it—how the world had become something across a mere span of moments that it had not been just moments before the light, the colors, and the chorus. We emerged from darkness, maybe desolation too. This, we decided, was the beginning. It was daigan—dawn—the becoming of a day. We agreed to count our lives out by such moments—by days. Imagine the boldness and joy in that decision! Tell me how many dawns you’ve had. Tell me what the colors were. Tell me which birds perched where and, then, tell me what they warbled or called or cried out. And, if you cannot, tell me of your sorrow. Tell me how you have forsaken the dawn songs. Tell me why you, in your animal body, decided to stop living.


Dr. Jamie K. Reaser is a scientist, philosopher, award-winning writer, artist, and regenerative farmer. In all forms, Jamie’s work explores the inter-relatedness of Nature and human nature. Her newest release (with co-editor J. Drew Lanham) is Dawn Songs: A Birdwatcher's Field Guide to the Poetics of Migration (Talking Waters Press, 2023). Jamie is tended by the meandering Rockfish River and steadfast Blue Ridge Mountains of central Virginia.

Photographs copyright JKR.

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Updated: Mar 4

Foothills of Colorado Rocky Mountains

I am not so interested in speaking these days, it is listening that enthralls me most––to the burnished hills slinging notes of salmon, peach, and violet colored rays back into the cupboard of my quaking heart. I wake every morning at dawn and go outside to greet the rising sun, my waking is a kind of listening. Birds and sunflowers know the importance of this daybreak ritual, as does every human culture whose mythologies reach beyond the severed roots of this modern world. Never for a moment did our ancestors imagine that life would continue on without their active participation, their attention to the dawn, their libations and offerings of gratitude, devotion, praise. Never did they simply roll out of bed feeling entitled to the unfolding of another blessed day.

Around the Winter Solstice, I started going outside at sunrise out of sheer desperation. It had been a grueling two-and-a-half-month-stretch of insomnia and I was on my knees. Scientists were finding that early morning light could help reset a person’s circadian rhythm, and after trying just about everything else, I had little hope but was still willing to set my feet in that eastward direction.

The first morning I got up, after spending an entire night in bed without a moment of sleep, I was haggard. I dressed quickly in the dim light of our quiet house and walked outside to stand in the cold mountain air, wrapped in a blanket and stooped over with exhaustion. As the colors spread their magnificent wings across the pale blue sky, I immediately recognized something old, yet strangely familiar, starting to stand up in my bones and sing. I did not need a scientist to tell me this was how my people had begun their days since the beginning of time.

I saw and felt and heard a dawn when the first light our ancestors witnessed upon waking was not a glowing screen, but that golden faced God who warmed their weary bones and enticed all growing things to unfurl into the luminosity of this world; when shouts of delight and songs of adoration became the only way for mouths to open themselves into the wonder of such a miracle. The sun’s reappearance in the sky each morning did not enlist apathy or boredom, instead it gave birth to awe and an insatiable longing to help sing or dance or praise a new day into being.

So I opened my tired mouth and began singing too, because we can’t always listen, now can we? There comes a time when our voices are needed in the chorus of creation, when the world begins listening in return and so we must speak, croon, howl, or intone magic to all the ones who are leaning in, who are our kin. We must give back to a world that is constantly thrusting beauty and brilliance and sustenance into our opened hands, we must make wonder bloom from our opened mouths like spring flowers unfurling beneath the blazing sun.

I have stood outside on many single digit days, I have looked east even when the horizon was cloaked in snow and fog and still I felt the sun rising as though the rising had been yoked to my soul. It is now almost the Spring Equinox, and I am still going out every morning because the ritual is set like a woven vessel in my bones––it has been filled to the brim and spills over in cycles for the beating heart of this planet.

My sleep has partially returned, but that is no longer why I go. I am delighting at the nearness of the birds landing back in our thawing hills so that our voices can sway, dip and crisscross in the dawn chorus as two species who love this world and are no less moved to act upon that love than any other. I anxiously await the first and holy day of April when other humans will rise with the sun too, when we remember our ancient ways of greeting the day, when our voices will create an emergent wave, cresting and falling over the body of this glistening world in breaths of reverie.

~~~~~ April Tierney is a poet, activist, craftswoman, mother, and lover of stories. Her work follows threads of ecopoetics, myth, culture, and lineage. She is the author of three full length collections of poetry, including her recent book, Memory Keeper (Homebound Publications, 2022). She lives in the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains with her husband, young daughter, mischievous dog, and wide web of kin.

Thank you April Tierney for singing your voice here as we approach Earthsongwave Dawn Chorus on Saturday,1 April. If you find yourself resonating with April’s song, please share with one person, then if they share with another…. and they

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