Reflections and meditations on music and singing, birds in my life, books and literature, reading, art and art history, history and humanity, words and writing, and things that catch my eye or cause me to wonder.
birds are singing in the rain about the small pond in front, the inquisitive
chickadee that has flown at once to the alders to reconnoiter us, the
blackbirds, the song sparrow, telling of expanding buds. But above all the
robin sings here too, I know not at what distance in the wood. ‘Did he sing
thus in Indian days?’ I ask myself; for I have always associated this sound
with the village and the clearing, but now I do detect the aboriginal wildness
in his strain, and can imagine him a woodland bird, and that he sang thus when
there was no civilized ear to hear him, a pure forest melody even like the wood
thrush. Every genuine thing retains this tone, which no true culture displaces.
I heard him even as he might have sounded to the Indian, singing at evening
upon the elm above his wigwam, with which was associated in the red man’s mind
the events of an Indian’s life, his childhood. Formerly I had heard in it only
those strains which tell of the white man’s village life; now I heard those
strains which remembered the red man’s life, when these arrowheads, which the
rain has made shine so on the lean stubble-field, were fastened to their shaft.”
the Journal of Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), April 21, 1852.