I was up at 5am yesterday as I had to travel to England for an interview – you know I’ve lived here now for 18months but I’ve never really heard the dawn chorus the way I heard it yesterday – it was almost deafening. The sun wasn’t quite up and I walked down my road next to the forest and I could hear what must’ve been hundreds if not thousands of birds all awake and calling to one another. it really made me imagine them calling “hey George – you awake over there? We’re about to go worm hunting – wanna come? ” – “yeah – just waking up the missus – I’ll meet you there – betcha I get a bigger one than you” … “Never” … It was truly amazing.
I grew up in a suburb of Manchester, England – it was an exciting day if we saw a Robin or Blue Tit among the plethora of Starlings and Sparrows in the garden- Here the Tits are the commonest birds in the garden – with the Redstarts, Robins, Finches all making an appearance. Today I sit in the garden eating my lunch, feeling the sun on my face and listening to the birds – not as yesterday’s splendour but still I can’t help thinking I’ve definitely fallen in love with this country- and yet it’s a country I had barely visited before our move out here, one I knew little about.
Yesterday as I caught sight of some English schoolchildren all walking hand in hand followed by their teachers, a couple kicking empty beer cans on the ground I realised that it felt really at odds – I wouldn’t expect to see that here where it feels like the countryside and community is respected. I’m not yet sure if I’m still in some honeymoon period or whether things like that really are different.