tales for dreamers: the song of the red bird

In which we find out what becomes of the songs we sing.

tales for dreamers: the song of the red bird
tales for dreamers: the song of the red bird

Red bird, red bird, sing me a song, you beg.

Sing me a song that will float on the breeze,

a song that will tickle my heart and stir my soul, you say.

And the red bird sings, a song only it can sing.

A song of remembrance, a song of longing,

a song of all the places it had been,

of all the trees it had lived in, of all the nests it had woven,

of the sole mate it had loved for several lifetimes

of the little red birds they had spawned,

of the squiggly worms and the juicy berries they had fed their little ones

of the way it used to spread its wings to teach them how to fly,

how to fly away from their home, away from itself,

so they too may sing their songs

to the ones who need to hear them the most.

And the song stirs your soul and the tears spring forth,

and the red bird asks if you have a song too,

a song you’d like to sing,

and you nod your head and say, Yes, I do.

And you sing about your life too,

and your story is just as old as the story of the birds,

and just as old as the story of the oceans,

and just as old as the story of the stars.

A grand story of so many beginnings and so many endings,

tumbling into each other,

until you can no longer tell one apart from the other,

like the spokes of a wheel disappearing into a giant disk,

the faster it spins,

until the wounds are no different than the joys,

and the scars and the smiles look alike.

And when you sing the last note,

the red bird cocks his head to one side,

and says,

Why! Your song is just like mine.

But how could that be, you wonder,

for the red bird is so beautiful,

but you, when had you last believed you were too?

So the red bird flies to you

and brushes his wing across your heart,

and your spirits lift and your melody floats on the breeze,

and you both sing songs that tickle hearts and stir souls,

for the red bird has taught you how

you can only become the songs you choose to sing.