It’s 1 am.
A lone night bird sings below. I’m on the viewdeck of our house here in Laguna. The viewdeck is perched high on a mountainside and I can see the whole of Makiling from where I’m sitting.
I’m isolated on this mountain. The nearest person would be some 20 meters away fast asleep. So even if I sung my lungs out, I wouldn’t be disturbing anyone. Well, there are the birds. It’s the lone night bird’s fault. It’s singing so beautifully somewhere in the forest. It was singing a haunting song. To my mind, it’s a call to be found. A mating call. And in my imagination, there’s no one there to hear it. It is the last of its kind and it is calling vainly. Of course, it’s not. It’s seeming loneliness may be because female birds do not often answer. Nor can they most of the time. In most species of birds, females don’t have a song. Only the males need it to attract females. If it’s not a song, then it’s bright colored plumage. Not very different from humans, don’t you think? If it’s not ability manifested by achievements, wealth, or acquisitions, it’s looks. Well, that bird was singing. And something about his singing caught at something in my chest. It tugged at it and loosened some dam I didn’t know was filling up unnoticed. Maybe it’s the fragility of its song. Or the seeming futility of it. It’s stopped now. Maybe it’s found a mate. Or several.
So now I’m singing. I’m trying to find the same fragility in that bird’s song. I’m imagining being perched on a branch. The leaves have fallen off from the intense rain beforehand. The breezes uninterrupted by the bare branches are chilly. I am calling. Somebody hear my song. Somebody come. Somebody find me. And only the breeze comes. Mute. Cold. Empty.
I liked the sound of that. But there’s no one else to hear it.