My friend, he comes at sunset. Just like me, he enjoys his baths. He dips in and splashes, shakes his feathers and turns a few circles.
This routine is the same every day. When he’s done he’ll flit to the fence top, where he’ll perch and cast off droplets. He dries his beak by wiping it swiftly on either side of the wooden fence. And after a short flurry of fanning feathers – a few shivers – the song begins.
Among the saffron-colored nasturtiums, rainbow prayer flags, and pink succulents, the Shama sings his end-of-day-song to the rosy sky.
It’s a friendly lilt, high notes in rolling patterns. It makes you want to give it your own try.
It’s the bridge we have to know we hear each other. My little whistle attempt. He repeats the pattern. Ever patient, he’ll give it to me again and again. But so often the notes that squeeze through my lips can’t quite match his song.
If I pause long enough, he’ll stop the call and response and break out into his own long soliloquy. Beautiful and happy, it’s an honoring of the day. Just Shama in the papaya tree. Fresh and clean and singing.