Updated: Feb 28, 2020

Inspired by and in collaboration with Earthsongwave Dawn Chorus — Join the Global Song April 1st, 2019

Long, drawn out, and aching with belonging, a primal speech echoes through the halls of my heart and emblazons a world of water with love and mourning.

Every chord pulls tears from my eyes, bringing me to my knees. Brought closer to the Earth where I bow remorsefully into a fetal position, sobbing my love, my memories, my longing into the sand. Screaming for forgiveness from the ancient ones who swim in these old, old seas.

Awash in confusion and overwhelm at where to begin. The fragmented pieces of my life are yoked together through the agony of grief and remembrance that resounds through every pulsing strand carried from current to current.

These are whales that I hear, and their calls and cries are an oral tradition strung together by generation upon generation of their own mother tongue. A mother tongue that I know through the cells of my body, but have no conceptual recollection of how I came to know them. It is a native speech made up of codas (distinct and intentional clicks, pops, and drawn out vocalizations) that permeate the layers of forgetfulness, and reach deep into the core of who I am.

With my knees in the sand of my soul, having surrendered so fully to these water beings, with their lifelong families and extended clans, the only task left is to wail.

To wail with the whales. To wail for their lives, their homes, their food sources, their shared love for one another. To wail because of their patience with humanity even amidst our history of hunting them down, and now destroying the only home they have.

To wail at the possible loss of their stunning existence in this world, and the possible future of my own calf never knowing who they are save for what is written in books of their once-upon-a-time existence.

Wailing is like a song from which notes of grief, anger, and pain roll out from the body like waves crashing down upon the shore of one’s existence. Breaking through habituated living, to hear wailing from ourselves or another is to hear the truth of this vulnerable, dynamic existence. An existence comprised of endless and tangled expressions of life reaching out through thresholds of birth and death for each other. Wailing sends out invisible notes, electrifying the stretches of space between and within all living beings, illuminating the web that binds us all together.

Wailing is a part of our mother tongue, a primal speech that we inherit the day we are born. For we hear wailing as our mother’s hips crack open, and the amniotic sea we called home floods the land of our collective becoming. We hear our own wailing as our first breath finds us, filling our lungs with the mysterious song of our life. Wailing signals that something sacred is happening. That we are standing upon, swimming within, or flying through hallowed ground.

Mother tongue is usually defined as “the language spoken by one’s ancestors.” Ancestor generally implies human descendants, and very rarely encompasses the vast ecological web we are in relationship with and kin to. A web that encompasses both this corporeal land, as well as the deep imaginal, dreaming mind of the Earth.

For this reason, I would like to stretch the definitions of mother tongue and ancestor to include those more-than-human beings, places, and spaces that we belong to, and that those who came before us belonged. A Gaian lineage, or perhaps spiral-age, whose “language” is far more complex than letters strung together forming words that form sentences.

Language is a form of embodied communication that arises out of life’s desire to commune and relate. Embodied communication can present as guttural moans, high pitched and melodious whistles, clicks and pops, growling, rattling, snorting, hissing, or grunting. It can also take the shape of arched backs, hair standing on end, cheeks rubbing together, fin tips pointing downward, bared teeth, chest-pounding, or tail-flicking.

Language is also a portal for rich and textured oral traditions that preserve and pass on knowledge and wisdom necessary for the next generations. And one particular method of transmission is song.

The language of whales, particularly Humpback Whales, is reminiscent of the music dreamed up by humans. Especially so when our stringed instruments are played. I’ve always wondered, did my own Celtic ancestors, with their fiddles, first hear the whales in the seas that they lived with and depended upon long before they ever dreamed up such an instrument? Did the vocalizations of these sea creatures stir such a deep longing within them that it was all they could do to draw closer to the source of such profound and aching songs?

Out of the exquisite nature of the Earth’s relational web, what wisdom and knowledge might these water ancestors have been transmitting that my human ancestors were privy to? I believe such transmissions of knowledge live on in our cells. They carry a vibrational memory that speaks to us with an embodied linguistic dialect. A dialect of the mythic soul-spirit.

Spiraling forth from the Anima Mundi (soul of the Earth) are the mother tongues of other species. These are the voices of our more-than-human ancestors. Ancestors whose songs will disappear from the larger chorus of creation if we humans do not remember our rich spiralage. If we humans do not, once again, remember how to listen to and sing with the voices of the Others who have been so intimately a part of our ecological emergence. Others who have evolved long before us, and alongside us. Creatures who carry the memory and medicine of belonging in the songs they offer up to the world. Songs sung in a feral speech of primal proportions.

If you were to step beyond the walls of industrialized culture and the colonized world, you would find yourself making a pilgrimage back to the soul of the Earth. The clamor and cacophony of man and machine would grow faint as the ground beneath your feet would be overtaken by the vegetal grasp of feral lands.

Winds would jostle your hair about, and you’d feel yourself swept up in a dance with the trees who sway back-and-forth, back-and-forth. Quaking leaves, wingbeats, snapping branches, claws scraping against bark, small grunts coming from bushes, and the faintest clicks and pops from insects busying about would lead you down a sandy path to the edge of an ocean whose salty waters are the birthing ground of your primordial existence.

It is here that you would encounter them.

Those enormous, finned ancestors whose songs can be heard thousands of miles away. Those long and drawn out chords that ache with belonging. A primal speech that echoes through the halls of your heart.

Tears would spill from your eyes, and their gravitational force would pull you down to your knees. Bowing close to the Earth, sand would begin to cling to the saliva, snot, and tears that pour from your mouth, nose, and eyes.

You would begin to wail.

And if you’re lucky, out of your wailing, you might re-member who you are before it’s too late.

You might begin to sing your song, and the uprising swell of the Earth would enfold you into the vast chorus of everything.

Join Amanda for this very special event that is in service to the Earth and the waking up of humanity

Thank you Amanda for your offering for Earthsongwave Dawn Chorus 2019. Amanda is a Creatress, Somatic Ecologist, Horse-woman, Mother, Yoga Teacher, Nature-based Soul Guide and Writer. She is also a contact for Earthsongwave Dawn Chorus in America.

Thank you for this collaboration The Urban Howl, Frontline of the new Magical Paradigm theurbanhowl.com

Photo by Amy Humphries on Unsplash

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I am lying back, down and flat surrendering into Ancestral stone crusting coal and carboniferous fossil, listening through my body to their deep and ancient ways. The incessant sound of strong winds moves me. Waves and wind embrace like devoted lovers who have been oceans apart for centuries yearning to be together, and now meeting their desire fully. Tide breathes out near my left side. I hear splatters of waves danced by currents of air and salt water. Herring gulls soar silently north toward dunbar rocks whilst hushed black crows and long shags fly quietly low almost kissing sea through evening’s dusky notes amongst a wild symphony as the horizon curve pinks and red shanks sing out sharp and clear. There are no bar lines here, just a continuum of different notes moving in and out through the cold winter air. Whitesands; I was here for the first Earthsongwave Dawn Chorus last year watching the curve, pink rising and herring gulls singing south. I’m here again, reflecting on that first day and now moving towards the first invitation of this year’s Earthsongwave Dawn Chorus.

I am remembering with amazement over 1,000 visits to the Earthsongwave website with visitors, no visa required, from New Zealand, Australia, Japan, China, India, Tanzania, South Africa, Israel, Poland, Romania, Czech Republic, Greece, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Italy, Germany, France, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, UK, Ireland, Canada, USA, Guatemala, Cost Rica, and Brazil, whilst visitors to the pinned Facebook post now reaching 2,904. Remembering people feeling a resonance with knowing other folks singing around the world concurrently, creating a wave of song together in praise, offering, gratitude, curiosity and more. Remembering people’s hearing and feeling responses.

This year’s invitation reaches out to you at dusk in the northern hemisphere and dawn in the southern hemisphere; to sing with the dawn on 1 April wherever you are. Our dawn song seems to me to be even more vital; this week alone for a few examples, witnessing the extinction of the Eastern Puma in the USA, the last one of the Knysna Elephants, a grandmother, wandering on her own in South Africa, refugee families who have survived being separated without being reunited, and the possibility of human extinction becoming less a narrative of science fiction and denial moving into reality; surely a heartbreaking open grief song. Through the year l have also heard experiences of Earth singing, whether we arouse her or/and she arouses us is surely a joy song. What if singing this wild way around the Earth is essential, radical even; what if Earth and Earth Community is dying for longing of our deep lover’s reciprocal song separated over these centuries needing us like devoted lovers to sing-in winds, oceans, lands, mountains, blossoms, birds, skies, animals, insects, fish, kelp,…. What if humans are Earth’s flowering nectar, food for Earth; and by refusing our own flowering in this way, our own song, we may well be refusing this miracle life and Earth herself.

You are invited to sing your nectar for Earth at dawn on 1 April. All information is on the website www.earthsongwave.com and on the Earthsongwave Facebook page where there will be regular postings with Earthsongs, articles, information, poems, quotes and invitations. You will also find a leaflet on the website you can download and print for display and sharing widely, madly, deeply.

One of many invitations towards Earthsongwave Dawn Chorus: you might let yourself be found/find a place near to where you live, you might feel a particular allurement in this place, or maybe even feel repelled here. Take time in these weeks, maybe once a week or more, to know here as you would a new friend, befriend here. Speak out loud to the beings here, tell here or a particular being (tree, stone, plant, rabbit hole etc) about yourself and about Earthsongwave Dawn Chorus. You might lie on the Earth as l do above. Allow notes to arise naturally from your body, your mouth when you are here and let yourself be surprised even if it feels a bit strange to begin with. Allow whatever needs to said and sung, listen and watch for responses, begin conversations and songs, keep a journal and notice your dreams following your singing wanders and “Don’t try to end it. Be your note.” Rilke~

Collage by Doug Van Houten

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Updated: Mar 31, 2018

We are on the cusp of the first ever Earthsongwave Dawn Chorus on Sunday 1 April around the world; a never-before-heard conscious wave of human song around the Earth for Earth and Earth Community; to celebrate, give gratitude and praise. People have visited the website from New Zealand, Australia, India, Japan,Tanzania, South Africa, Romania, Czech Republic, Greece, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Italy, Germany, France, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, UK, Ireland, Canada, USA, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Brazil. The pinned post on the facebook page has reached over 2,700 people.

I thought this might be a good time to speak to what l mean when l use the word ‘song’ here. One is the way Rumi speaks to at the end of the poem in the Earthsongwave video in the Introduction and in the Home page of the website about the song we are, of Earth.. “each note is a need coming through one of us, a passion, a longing pain”. The ‘Be your note’; the note we are regardless of whether we are actively singing a particular song or not is one of the meanings of song here. We can practice 'our note' to sing/be our note more clearly.

In researching Earthsongs specifically, the following is just a taste of what l, with others, am hearing. First l will speak to my experience of the tree and forest singing (see Stories page). The tree was aware of my presence, the tree itself taught me the song in 3 parts, the forest was aware of both the tree singing and my participation in the song; perhaps not in a human ‘intelligence’ way of awareness but perhaps of an even greater intelligence. Certainly my experience was one of such deep truth l have been/am willing to surrender to/follow that song rather than the line laid down by my current culture; to follow that intelligence perhaps currently more known as ‘nature-based’ intelligence towards practicing and being my unique note which is another story. I wonder whether Earth Community taught humans how to sing and we have forgotten. Since then l notice sometimes l’m in a very ‘open’ feeling in myself when the experience of hearing songs happen. Sometimes they come unbidden and when l least expect them. In my research this can also be the experience of other people.

Sometimes l wonder if the trees offered themselves in sacrifice to be shaped and sung in a different way for breathe to pass. The singing trees were spruce trees which were made for making violins in this place. When l heard the Cairngorm mountains in Scotland sing, they sounded like bagpipes. What if bagpipes were made to replicate the song of the mountains in Scotland. Perhaps that’s why the sound of a bagpipe stirs the soul so deeply. I’ve heard the song of the canyons in Utah. They sound like flutes. Maybe humans created such an instrument to mimic the song of the canyons. What if the relations between place, person, and instrument is not a coincidence; interbeing and reciprocity. Is there a song that is distinctly human? A song of humanity?

Nature-based cultures have always heard and sung with Earth and Earth Community. The Songlines of the Aboriginal People, for example, are probably the most well known; recreating their particular unique songline with particularity of land and in so doing recreating the land; a weaving between a unique song and land alongside Ancestoral ways. Maybe we are creating holes in Earth’s weaving by not singing the songlines of our lives. I am curious that more people seem to be hearing Earthsongs now though, and why now? Sometimes l wonder, at this time when Earth is struggling to rebalance, can she be singing to us of her longing for us to hear her, her song, her cry? If so, how magnificent to respond to such destruction with song, yes? How can l not sing back! And you?

You can see more information on the Earthsongwave Dawn Chorus 2018 facebook page and group. There are further ways l am exploring around Earthsongs too......

By Wendy Robertson Fyfe. Foundher/Creator of Earthsongwave

collage: Doug Van Houten

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© 2018 Wendy Robertson Fyfe