Some hearts are born to do certain tasks, and so it was with the songbird. She had been brought into the universe to sing her song so that others could hear and benefit.
Not that the songbird ever noticed, for each morning she would fly to the top of the highest tree and sing her heart out – that was the way she had been made and so it was the most natural thing for her to do.
One cold winter’s day an old woman happened to pass the tree, when she was on her way back from the cemetery where she had placed flowers on her husband’s grave. She was tired, as we all get tired and so she sat below the highest tree for a rest. She closed her eyes and wished that they would stay closed for ever so that she could meet again with her love, but then it happened – she heard the songbird and the sweet music warmed her heart to the world once more. The old woman raised herself from her rest and decided she would try another day, for one never knew what was around the next corner.
The snows soon melted and the winter became the spring and still the songbird sang her tunes. One afternoon as the flowers were coming to life, a fearful lad from the next village was on his way to meet his love. He stopped below the tree to think about the love of his life and of all the things he wanted to say but was afraid. Then the songbird sang her song and the lad realized that the world was a world of once chances and that if he didn’t tell his love now, he may never get another. He skipped to his love’s house whistling the tune of the songbird and spilled his heart out.
A child from several mountains over was struck with an illness and the only doctor who could help the poor child lived over the tops of several mountains the other way. So her father carried the child over mountain, down valley and over the next mountain until he was so crippled in pain he could not go on. By chance he happened to sit beneath the highest tree just as the songbird started to sing and as he rested, he realized if there was that much beauty in the world then he could carry his sick child the rest of the way to the doctor.
And so the songbird sang and sang and helped each and every one who passed the tree.
The next year when the warm winds came to the hills, the songbird gave birth to her own little songbird. She had waited all her life for such an event. She would fly into the forest and bring back food, singing her tunes and she knew that one day, her own little songbird would sing a tune of their own.
One day when the songbird was out looking for food, a wind came and blew so hard that the little nest and her baby were blown down from the highest tree.
When the songbird returned to her tree, she saw her little one lying on the forest floor, eyes closed and no longer breathing.
That was when it happened, the songbird lost her song. She could no longer sing, there was nothing wrong with her just that her heart no longer wanted to – and so the forest became quiet.
When the old woman heard of the troubles of the songbird and how she had lost her song, she decided to visit the little bird. She sat with the songbird and caressed her and thanked her for all her songs.
Then a strange thing happened, the songbird let out one note – one pure and beautiful note. The old woman told the lad who was once fearful and he too visited the songbird, and thanked her for her tunes and suddenly the songbird sang another, different beautiful note.
And so it was that all the people who the songbird had helped came to visit, and each brought a musical note back to the songbird.
And although it took some time and perhaps the tunes were not as heartfelt as they once were, the songbird was able to sing again and the universe smiled.
bobby stevenson 2017