2 min read

Finding Connection in Birdsong & Phone Apps

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Recently, my morning Qigong* routine is breaking one of the cardinal New Age rules by including my mobile phone in the backgroundrunning Merlin, the bird identification application.

Merlin is remarkable if not miraculous on so many levels: the program, what it identifies, and the feelings it inspires to appreciate. (How’s that for a rationalization?) 

Flying beings inhabiting the same space as we are, singing, calling, and communicating vast amounts of information which most of us, including me, are unaware of.

On a typical 30-minute practice session, I will record 20+ species calls and songs as noted below. Rarely, though, do I see them, as they are flying high, dancing, singing, and playing from tree to tree.

This week, one Merlin experience transcended all others that I would like to share.  
After my Qigong practice, I reviewed the below list and noted I was unfamiliar with the Black & White Warbler. So, I played its calls and songs. I did this a few times and out of the black locust tree flies almost within arm’s length, a Black & White Warbler who landed on the neighboring lilac bush. I played the songs and calls again, and the Warbler repeated its dance. 

The elation I experienced is beyond expression. The reason for the ecstasy is obvious. It was connection. I touched a connection that we all yearn for, a connection with something bigger than individual and isolated self.

So I return to my favorite expression and mantra from ancient China...

"Where there is connection, there is no pain. Where there is pain, there is no connection."

Thank you, Merlin! 
*Qigong is an ancient Chinese movement yoga-like meditation practice. 

Photo by Patrice Bouchard on Unsplash

Bird Species Recorded During My Morning Qigong

American Crow 
American Goldfinch 
American Robin 
Baltimore Oriole 
Black-Capped chickadee 
Black-Throated Green Warbler 
Black & White Warbler 
Blue-Headed Vireo 
Cedar Waxwing 
Chipping Sparrow 
Eastern Bluebird 
Eastern Phoebe 
Eastern Wood Pewee 
Northern Mockingbird 
Pine Warbler 
Red-Breasted Nuthatch 
Red-Eyed vireo 
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird 
Song Sparrow 
White-Breasted Nuthatch