Celebrating the season with songs of all kinds

My alarm clock goes off at 5:45 a.m. I lie in bed motionless.

Silence. And then I hear the songs of birds in the garden beneath my bedroom window. Have I awakened them? What an awesome responsibility.

It is a good day to rise early. Spring in New York City. There is not a minute to lose.

On my block, the Calgary pear trees are in full bloom, providing a white canopy of blossoms above the street.

In Central Park, I walk under blooming cherry and crab apple trees.

We should celebrate the renewal of spring in song.

In 17th-century Netherlands, Dutch crews handed out songbooks to passengers boarding long-distance boats. Passengers and crews sang on the voyage. Why not give out songbooks at park entrances?

In the park, I sit in a beach chair, my bare feet enjoying, not the sea, but the coolness of fresh grass. The sounds around me are not of the surf, but conversation, laughter, the joyful cries of games being played: New Yorkers enjoying well-deserved relaxation.

Late 19th-century Czech composer Leos Janacek set the street sounds of Prague to music. We need a Janacek in the park today. Or Puccini, who, in "Tosca," portrays the sounds of Rome.

In the evening, I ride my bicycle on Fifth Avenue. I stop for a red light. Next to me is a car. The driver is playing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.

The light changes. I keep up with the car for a block, before losing it. How I would have liked to hear more of the symphony.

To begin the day with the songs of birds. To end the day with Beethoven.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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