Their song comes from away, from above, always in forest, from somewhere deep in the canopy. Theirs is my best-loved sound in nature, more than waves, more than other songs, more than water sliding past rocks, more than wind and thunder. The wood thrush is a forest bird, migratory, secretive. The Book calls its song, “loud, sweet, liquid, bell-like, calm, unhurried, peaceful.” They have acquired other names: “Bellbird, song thrush, swamp angel.”
They winter in southern Texas and Mexico and all the way down to Panama, and they fly to territories from Ontario and Minnesota to all lands east and south. When they arrive in April, their refrain tells me that winter has ended, finally. When they arrive in April, their first song tells me that the natural world is holding on, that it retains the strength and expanse necessary to make promises and sustain faith.