I wake with heavy eyes and feel the dark is still here. It wasn’t just a dream.

I breathe in a deep breath and exhale slowly, as if courage comes with this discipline.  Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. It’s part of the routine now. And with the exhale, I send a silent prayer to the heavens.

The morning light hasn’t come yet, but I already hear a bird singing. As if nothing is wrong, the trill falls onto my ear. I think bitterly to myself  ‘if she knew my pain, she wouldn’t sing’.  And in that small space of time between the songs, I hear the bird whisper a truth. “I’m singing BECAUSE I know your pain; I know you NEED this song.” And in that moment, when I heard the song and wondered about something beyond myself, I realized the gift —a moment without the burden.

I pulled myself up and sat up straight to listen.  Songs began again. I heard the trills as if I’d never heard them before. With each note, I felt the burden lift away just before the bird fluttered her wings to take flight.