Llanmadoch, (The Gower) at dawn. Cymru/Wales
Here we are on the cusp on the fourth Earthsongwave Dawn Chorus. This offering has not only reached thousands of people but people in over 54 countries. What a gift for the world, what a way to come together for the whole of the earth community, to sing and be sung by life. I am in deep awe and appreciation to be writing at my desk and having this chance to reflect. I am delighted to be part of such a gift and entranced by the beauty we are able to create.
I, like many, have been sensing deep change is afoot. It has been a terrible and beautiful time. One that has taken me, and I assume many, to edges unimagined and in it I continue to break down, break through, be defined and redefined from the me I thought I was/am to…? Just when I get to land somewhere that feels a bit like solid ground hey, I’m being asked by mystery to come undone again and reimagine, recollect, remember in order to grow into yet another shape.
The way we see and have known our world, ourselves, myself has changed. Even though I know deep down that change is essential for the new, the unimagined, the yet to be seen and all the life enhancing essential ways to emerge. For me this has been a deeply terrifying and enlivening journey. How it seems the terror and enlivening have to co-exist and that I cannot know the essence of myself, and be part of the great turning, without holding both as truth.
So, there is much I could share with you and as I write I can hear echoes of all kinds of stories of the times that we live in; the ways in which we are all being called to show up, initiate, mature, take responsibility and take a stand for this wonderful and dynamic, only one of its kind in the whole universe (as far as we know) turquoise jewel of a planet.
Here is one story I came across in the past weeks that had me undone again. This quote from an article by Carla Sofina was sent as a stirring to a group of women participating on the cusp of the Earthsongwave Women’s New Moon Council which met monthly through the year.
"Did you know that each year, all adult male humpbacks within each ocean sing the same song? But in each ocean the song is different from the song being sung in other oceans. There’s a Pacific song, an Atlantic song, and so on. And each year the song of each ocean changes. The new songs spread wavelike, a slow-moving fad crossing blue infinities whale-to-whale, all the whales adopting the same changed elements of the song. When songs of Hawaiian humpbacks and Mexico’s Socorro Island humpbacks changed simultaneously, despite a separation spanning 4,800 kilometers of ocean, researchers Ellen Garland and colleagues called this pattern “unparalleled in any other nonhuman animals . . . cultural change at a vast scale.”
How the song will change, how much will change, and how rapidly, humans cannot predict. Somehow together, strangely, the whales create a new song. There’s a lovely metaphor for us in that. Planet Earth constantly thrums with its own song, meeting the melodies being sent and received by all the other living things. Life is vibrant and it generates ripples throughout the air, the sea, and the ground. But whale sounds seem particularly enchanted. Roger Payne wrote of the first time he heard a humpback whale singing: “Normally you don’t hear the size of the ocean . . . but I heard it that night. . . . That’s what whales do; they give the ocean its voice, and the voice they give is ethereal and unearthly.”
As I read this it moved me to tears again and I believe it is not only a metaphor but maybe an invitation for us too, for (unparalleled) cultural change to happen as we participate in song.
With all my being l want whales to know they are heard by us humans, that we are listening. That as we come up to this wonderful time of Earthsongwave Dawn Chorus we could feel into the possibility that whales are showing us, inviting us into another way? Maybe it is a way of entangling us even deeper into the web of life? Maybe we are able to cast the most potent of spells, participating in the great turning? Maybe it’s a way of imaginably throwing a net around this precious earth; cradling the whole planet and each other so that we may all continue to enhance all life’s systems for and with this wondrous turquoise jewel?
Haven’t some of us taken enough? Haven’t I taken enough? So, for me to at least give back to this wise, loving, incredible. beautiful and diverse home is an attempt at offering something and a way of expressing my wise grief and deepening love.
So many humans lost in inner and outer noise cannot hear the world sing. What if we could turn our attention towards the truth, terror and beauty of what is offered every day by the spinning wonder and brilliant brilliance of this planet. What if we could offer something back, reciprocate that song, sing together in a harmony to the oceans that created and birthed our wild bodies? I wonder and can only imagine what might be possible in that symphonic crescendo?
So maybe, just for a moment, if you will, allow this experience of whales to come deeply in, emotionally, sensuously, imaginatively. Notice what happens in your body, to your mind? Imagine and tune into each of the oceans and the different songs being sung by whales and remember that they create a concerto of cultural change. Imagine that they are open to the unbidden, being taken by life, not knowing in which ways they are being shaped or shaping, yet trusting life, trusting cosmos and evolution, trusting their place, their notes, their unique and ever-changing song. Maybe imagine this possibility for your own life and your kin, human and ‘more-than-human’.
Through voicing, life is sung into being and sings. Imagine us on this Earthsongwave Dawn Chorus day standing together at the edge of the sea singing the unbidden songs that life is longing for us to sing. Joining whales, dolphins, blackbird, robin, tree, badger, shark, sky, cosmos in the most delicious and wild symphony.
Imagine that we sing as whales sing because we cannot help but participate in the wild song of life; because life and mystery are spectacularly wise; because it matters to them as they follow deep instinctual intelligence, because maybe they remind us of our own. What if we stand at the edge of the ocean, joining them in participation? Can life burst through and be known in ways that we have never seen, felt or imagined before? Will this ripple flow through our culture, evoking a deepening cultural song?
What if whales in the oceans would leap from the waters in joy and turn somersaults in the air if they sensed that we are on the edge of the oceans at sunrise giving back to the great mystery of life. What if life itself in all its wonder (and), shapes and beauty would join with all the voices of the living world. Or a kind of co-voicing? So, on this Earthsongwave Dawn Chorus morning, as the sun rises for all of life to continue and it rises to grow, shape, heat and create brilliance with this Earth. Imagine, just for a moment what might happen if we were to stand at the edge of the ocean singing and participating in the great symphony of life. We might just be giving life it’s voice in a collective harmony with the ever-emerging Earth symphony.
1. Carl Safina Songs of the Humpback Whales in Minding Nature, Fall 2020, Vol 13, No 3 Center for Humans and Nature.
Rhonda Brandrick is the co-founder of professional accredited training in Ecopsychology and Nature-based practice. For over 5 years she apprenticed with Animas Valley Institute exploring the journey of soul initiation. She has worked with individuals, couples and groups for over 25 years. She is dedicated and devoted to making a difference to human health and the health of the Earth by bringing individuals, communities and culture back to Earth based ways of living. Rhonda loves dancing, drumming, dreaming and is a Mother and Grandmother.
Thank you Rhonda Brandrick for your offering to Earthsongwave Dawn Chorus 2021. Rhonda is also a contact for Earthsongwave Dawn Chorus in England.
If you would like to be involved/participate in the future shapeshifting of the Council Rhonda speaks of, please contact us through www.earthsongwave.com