I live in a 100 year old cottage on a reasonably busy street, just down a hill from a treed reserve. When I first moved here, the traffic and noise of the birds felt unbearable. Within three months the traffic noise had faded into the background, but not so the birds. Dawn, dusk and at times during the night, they exclaim loudly as they go about their work. Cockatoos frenzied, noisily devouring all that is edible in a tree then swarming upwards as they move on to the next. A choir of birds chortling, chattering and warbling to each other; and, in an interval of quiet, the sole, sweet call of the bellbird is heard.
It took a while, but the birds have become an integral part of my daily life and I miss them, when on occasion they become eerily quiet if there are bushfires or an approaching storm.
No longer intolerable, the birds have for me, come to reflect the normalcy of everyday life and relationships; cockatoos strident and demanding, other birds, just like any family, friends or workmates talking and laughing, and the bellbird, a quiet, sweet voice in the background, encouraging us to pause, reminding us what life is all about.