“The variety in species and function in the finches were fascinating, but what really caught my eye, or in this case my ear, were the song sparrows, the way their notes flowed into each other in complete harmony, going from do to re to mi to fa in beautiful consistency.”
I had been watching birds since the age of nine. Owls, finches, herons, and song sparrows were my favorite. The variety in species and function in the finches were fascinating, but what really caught my eye, or in this case my ear, were the song sparrows, the way their notes flowed into each other in complete harmony, going from do to re to mi to fa in beautiful consistency. The song sparrows were my favorite birds to observe, as their action of singing sounded so simple as a word but so magical as a sound. But the song sparrows didn’t last. By the time I was 25, my days of listening to sweet harmony were over, as a new power plant opened up, and with its smoke and ash and cracks and pops, it drew all the birds away. I learned by that time I wasn’t a bird watcher. I just liked the sound of song sparrows. Yeah, there were other birds I looked at, but who doesn’t think some birds look nice? This migration plunged me into sadness. I would never hear that beautiful flow or that consistent harmony ever again. I tried everything to recreate that sweet sound, every stroke of the hand or a blow of the horn or on an instrument, every audio recording, but none could replicate it, not exactly.
At this treacherous time I had come across an old nest with a peculiar egg in it. I thought to myself I might as well try to hatch the little thing. Its shell was so thin that it could be crushed by a flea. I took it in praying it would be a song sparrow, praying that I would hear those sweet symphonies again. It had been two weeks in the incubator. Even with its warm light at a nice 72 degrees, there were no cracks. Four weeks in the incubator with its steamy air, no cracks. I had given up. I had decided that I would follow the song sparrows even though I had lived in my town all my life, but I couldn’t take being apart from the harmony. I decided to crack open the egg and make a good breakfast with it, if it wouldn’t give me a song sparrow. Right before it hit my bowl to crack, I heard a noise. It was a perfectly consistent flow from do to re with a harmony unreplaceable. It was the voice of a song sparrow with its tranquility. I canceled every flight, unpacked every bag, and put back every plate because I was staying. The egg then continued to crack over the next three days. I had a song sparrow. I wasn’t going to use this bird just for its beautiful voice but also to show the power plant what its emissions were doing to the area. It was my duty to these sweet birds that were forced to leave. I had readied my case towards the court of how the power plant was driving away wildlife. When presented towards the court, it looked like a one way street with me going the wrong direction. The defendants argued that shutting down the plant now wouldn’t save the birds and there was no point. But I still had to try. I then gave my most persuasive point. I let the court hear the sweet symphony and melodies of the song sparrow even though it wasn’t allowed. I let them hear the beautiful flow from note to note, hoping it would be enough. It wasn’t. The power plant company had a better argument and a better lawyer. It was sad. My song sparrow was sad. I had used it, and now it wanted to be free. So I let the bird go, and with it I let my fight go. There was nothing I could do to stop it except let it free to the trees of Albuquerque.