Tiny kestrels “killy-killy.” Harris Hawks “croak.” Red-tailed Hawks scream with the iconic cry you hear in movies. Dashing goshawks and flashing falcons “cack.” Regal Golden Eagles chip and whistle. The National Symbol, with all its size, powerful presence and abundance in the area where I now live, “chitters.” I heard one this morning above me and knew instantly. There is little sonorous about it, little that can be called regal or awe-inspiring. The fish it likes to eat most likely doesn’t even hear it as it swoops low to snatch it out of the water. “Ki-ki-ki-kick.” It almost sounds annoyed.
I’m a sounds guy. I can often identify a bird solely by its call. I can almost hear the mist rising in the morning. On special occasions I have heard the stars singing. Sounds carry meaning, they are broadcast symbols that drift around, laden with the world. Nobility and foolishness equally ride the air into my ear. The arrogant little “killy-killy” and the annoyed “ki-ki-ki-kick,” both share a feathered world with me.
When I get to heaven, I’m going to be able to fly like my feathered friends like I do now in my flying dreams, and I will cry out from the depths of my soul the sheer joy of being. I don’t know what it will sound like, but I would like to think that it will reverberate with all the other essential sounds of creation through the celestial mountains, across the glassy sea, and right into the holy of holies in the heavenly temple. It will be my “holy, holy, holy,” my particular harmony in the great symphony of existence that ever flows from the heart of the Eternal One.
Picture credit (or debit, as you like): Paul Moore