This post is an updated re-post from 2010, but puts well what I felt when I heard the blackbirds singing last night.
I was doing something as banal as putting a dirty nappy in the wheelie bin last night when my heart and stomach lurched as the sound of a blackbird filled the air. It is only when I hear the melodies after an absence of some time that I realise how much they are a part of the excitement of the renewing year.
Life can be measured by the singing of blackbirds; in February, they start to sing in the darkness of early spring mornings and evenings. As plants start to burst into life, the singing swells up to a crescendo in late spring and early summer. As my birthday approaches, the frequency of the sweet and mellow song starts to decline and on that day I know that the days are getting shorter and winter is on its way. A melancholic day.
Poets seem to have a soft spot for the bird, for example Wallace Stevens (from whom the title of this post comes), Tennyson, and Seamus Heaney.
So, last night I had a burst of spring time, a glimpse of lengthening days and the sound of hope. Perhaps you should too.