Every day, I wake up to the sound of birds chirping.
Their delightful chatter signals the rising of the sun, reminding me that the day has begun.
Today as well, I woke up to their morning song and, as always, I quickly jumped out of bed and rushed to open my window shade.
A blinding light entered my eyes, making me temporarily lose vision. As my eyes refocused, I quickly surveyed the surrounding trees and what remained of their foliage. There was not a single animal in sight.
Today as well, it seemed that the birds were gone.
I’ve gotten used to the cold silent mornings of Rochester now, but when the birds first disappeared, I spent hours every morning trying to search for where they went.
On the first day of their disappearance, I woke up late. Without a melody of chirps to awaken me early, I nearly missed my first class of the day. I dashed outside intending to greet the sunrise, but I was met with a gloomy overcast of clouds. I spent the morning wondering why I didn’t wake up earlier.
On the second day, I also woke up late. I began to sense that something was wrong. I ran out of my dorm and was met with a freezing cold breeze. I ran around for hours and hours, and yet still there was not a single bird in sight.
On the third day, I set an alarm to wake up early. At this point, I was at my limit. If there weren’t any birds chirping, then I would have to do their job for them.
And so, from then on, before the sun rose each morning, I would wake up early and go on a run. Starting from Gilbert Hall in the First-Year Quad, I ran past Dandelion Square and made my way to the Sue B. Residence. And yet still, I ran further to the Hill Court Residences.
Each time I came near a residence, I would run around it in a circle for exactly 30 minutes. You might be questioning why I did this, but the answer will be clear soon enough. This was merely a test. An experiment for the next day.
And so, the fourth day arrived without any signs of birds. I wanted to believe that they would come back soon, but they never did. And perhaps they never would.
I couldn’t sit still for this. If UR had no birds that chirped, then I would have to chirp for them.
On the fourth morning, I followed my designated path. In the early morning, I ran from the First-Year Quad to Sue B., and then all the way to Hill Court, chirping all the way.
I refused to allow Rochester’s mornings to stay cold and silent.
Every morning, I would wake up early and run around campus, chirping loudly enough to ensure that people would be able to hear me, even deep in their sleep.
I’ve been doing it for more days than I’ve bothered to count, and I will continue to do so.
Now, I realize that you may have many questions for me, or perhaps you would like to condemn me, but that doesn’t matter now. You cannot stop me. No one can.
For those of you who want to stop me, I have a question for you.
Did you hear a bird today?