I awoke this morning to the sound of a nightingale, the Old World
flycatcher, which  also sings goodbye to the falling sun. They come
every year at this time from North Africa, their magnificent melodies,
their  loud whistling crescendo, filling the woods with a special

Then a strange thought came to me. Was it their music that enchanted
me really, or was there something deeper?  If there had been a human
creature out there in the woods I might have been delighted, even
grateful, but I would not have been touched in the same way. Why?

The answer came quickly.

The male calls, a mixture of an impressive range of whistles, trills
and gurgles, were natural and spontaneous and came from a creature
that was complete in every way, doing what a nightingale’s true nature
told him to do.

It was that music which stemmed from his true nature that touched me,
not the music in and of itself.

Why would that touch me so?  Because that nightingale was free and I
and no human creature today in this world can express that freedom
with such glorious natural expression. We are not free.

Are creatures that fly and those that creep beneath the earth the only
living creatures that are truly free, their destruction pending at any
moment, while we encroach upon their lives and liberty? Eventually we
will succeed in destroying this planet, before perhaps moving on to

Yes, even within a large wooded area, the animals here are not free.
Here we live accompanied by six dogs and they are not free. They are
not free to run where they will and hunt and play. No, they are
restrained within what is called our property.

They are contained so that they will bother no neighbors. The presence
of any animal which encroaches the space of the human creature must be
dominated and controlled or sacrificed.
I, for one, don’t like living in a world where nature is not free to
act without human approval. I am comforted with the certain knowledge
that mankind will eventually perish by his own hand and that nature
will again hold its sovereign place.

Yet while the nightingale sings and the dogs run and the wild boar
visit, digging their earth baths, and while all manner of other
creatures pay their respect to mother earth, I can touch in their
presence, just for a moment, a glimpse of what the human creature has
thrown away.


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