Meditations of a Commuter - Stories

Brisbane Dawn

I awoke just before dawn in the muggy humidity of Queensland’s capital city. It is dark and quiet. I stay in bed, breathing slowly and consciously with closed eyes and listening attentively, completely present in the state between sleep and wakefulness. At the first hint of light the neighborhood gradually becomes taken over by a plethora of sounds that eventually becomes a joyous polyphonic work to greet the dazzling morning. The last dreamy thoughts and private reveries in Wavell Heights will be nudged aside by this multi-textured, energetic musical homage to the new day. Several large black crows cackle loudly, providing a strong cantus firmus with their insistent, throaty tenor calls. A pair of kookaburras has landed on the telephone pole outside the bedroom window and their piercing outbursts temporarily drown out all other sounds like two divas competing for attention on an operatic stage. On a nearby branch a lone magpie sings his sweet, melodious song with a clear tone and impeccable sense of intonation, unperturbed by the intermittent outbursts of his more boisterous avian partners. The doves never seem to tire of repeating their gentle ostinati like the taleas and colors of some medieval motet. A butcher bird also sings sweetly, providing gentle counterpoint to the magpie’s clarion line. A few eastern sedgefrogs out in the garden add their high-pitched amphibious notes and clear staccato articulations. Innumerable small sparrows, willie wagtails and striped honeyeaters combine to form a delicate rhythmical and tonal underlay. Quiet spiders and ants, however, silently and efficiently go about their duties, like the early morning workers who are too busy to listen or relax over a leisurely coffee. I relish this sonic reverie with deep, calm, and grateful breaths, and remain still and present in this precious moment between the quiet shade of sleep and the busy activities of this day filled with promise and light.