“On every tree there sits a bird, and every one I ever heard, could break my heart without a word, singing a song of love.”

  — Helen Deutsch

Sometimes, when I take my morning walk, I begin to hear the cadence of my own footsteps as the background beat of a song that plays in my head.  Today, as I left the main streets behind and ventured onto side roads and paths, my brain turned off the traffic noise, and all I could hear was the birds.  It seemed as though every single tree had someone singing, squawking, trilling or warbling.  The mockingbird who perched on the highest point atop the flagpole at the elementary school did all of the above.  The sun sparkled its light show as the symphony played all around me, and soon I was walking on air.

Although I’m pretty sure that I kept a steady pace, I began to hear my muffled footsteps in 3/4 time.  I waltzed along, captivated by the beauty of the morning, and soon my mind began to sing.  “A song of love is a sad song, hi lili, hi lili, hi lo.”  I thought of all the wonderful days of my childhood when I would sit outside on summer days and sing this song, dreaming of the time when I would one day fall in love and not realizing that the idea of loving and losing was far greater than waiting for the prince to ride into town and carry me away to a wonderful life.

“A song of love is a song of woe, don’t ask me how I know.”  I looked toward the bright blue sky and thought of all the people I have loved in my lifetime — those who still are with me and those who have gone on to the life beyond living.  I thought of my dad and his health issues in recent days and wondered whether he also was thinking of all the people he has loved.

“A song of love is a sad song, for I have loved and it’s so.”  In our life of contrasts that are the gifts we use to learn our strength, we discover that there is no greater feeling than to love.  Then, as soon as we have learned that truth, we are asked to learn about letting go and remaining behind after love is gone.

“I sit at my window and watch the rain, hi lili, hi lili, hi lo.”  The sun calls us to remember the light of love and to spread it as far as our hearts can reach.  The rain calls us to be still and remember and sometimes to shed a tear or two when we wonder how we will ever fill the empty space left by our loss.  

“Tomorrow, I’ll probably love again,  hi lili, hi lili, hi lo.”  The answer comes on the soft breeze and in the birdsong that plays from every treetop.  I see the smiling faces of all the people I ever have loved and lost.  They sway in time to the song in my head, and I find myself wanting to dance a couple of turns as I climb the hill to its highest point.  Soon the whole world erupts in song, and I hear the chorus of all the voices of all the people I have loved singing, “Tomorrow, I’ll probably love again.”  Yes, I think.  That is the answer.  The only thing that will fill our empty places is to keep on loving.  In the end, it is the love that remains.