Back when I was a summer camp counselor I had an experience that I have been able to carry with me ever since. It has delighted many over all these years.


On a sunny Saturday morning I seet out form camp through the piney to explore the country north along the pipeline road near Twin Lakes, Michigan. It was during the fall season, plenty of large fluffy clouds drifting east high in the sky. It was the kind of day when walking in shade was cool and then into the sun where warm rays felt welcome on your back.

After two hours of walking I came out of the forest and stood at the rim of a cereal bowl shaped meadow. Looking down into the meadow from the rim I saw tall browning grasses mixed with late season wildflowers. Looking across the meadow I observed there was more than the usual variety of trees, here were maples, persimmon, wild cherry and basswood. The trees were providing a welcome habitat for numerous birds, I sat back to listen to their complex concert.

After a time I began to wish, I mean really wish I coould join in with the symphony, and so like any good musician I began to practice the songs I was hearing.

At first I made but poor accompanyment, but after considerable focused practice two robins launched themselvesĀ  and perched above me. They chattered and asked me to please leave their concert hall and go elsewhere. I was stubborn and perhaps a bit rude in staying until it was dark.

Night found me still sitting and still singing. I remember being concerned that in sleep I would awake having forgotten how to sing like a bird. As morning came almost before I opened my eyes I chirped like a bird and the blessing is still with me to this day.

I have sung for trail groups. classes of students and even in a few churches. But by far my favorite place to sing is in a crowded elevator.

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