5 A.M.

The first bird is singing

            her morning song

Or her mourning song,

           I know her not

                      A little Toulousaine.


She brings me melodiously

        Into the day

In this country I love

        In this city that shines

                   On the river Garonne.


Her full-throated greeting

      Is calling me home

With a trill with a note

       Solid and strong

                 Deep and long into my soul.


Flying off to a distant branch

       Her song fades away,

And my heart it will stay

        In this country of France

                Where my story unfolds.


As the morning darkness was brightened by these cheerful notes from a bird I don’t know, as I know all the birds and birdsongs in my woods, I was aware that I will be leaving on Saturday to return home to finish my preparations for coming back here to stay for a much longer time. There is, once more, a mixture of joy and sadness inside me (like the mourning song, perhaps?) as I ponder selling my house; my furnishings, some I’ve had since childhood; selling my cute little Honda Fit that I have so enjoyed driving; and, in a sense, becoming unattached. I am aware of how much my identity has been wrapped up in my house, my work, my lifetime as a Maryland resident. I have been complimented on my décor, my choice of colors and fabrics, the openness and play of light throughout. My work as an acupuncturist these last 25 years has, also, been a source of identity and pride in having chosen, at the time, a path ”less traveled” and it has, indeed, “made all the difference.” The healing relationships I have had with my patients with whom healing happens more profoundly through trust, and confidence and vulnerability…the very reasons friendship with patients is discouraged…has been a gift I will carry with me always.

Soon, I will be a traveler, an adventurer, a stranger in a foreign land. Different language, different customs, different rules and ways of being. This old dog will be learning new tricks every day. So far, the experience has been intoxicating and expansive. I may at times feel ungrounded. And it is you, dear readers, these writings, and the knowledge that home is truly wherever my heart resides, that will keep me planted throughout my journey.

So, thank you to the little bird this morning that reminded me we all have a sweet song to sing us home.