The Senegal Coucal

Until the Shadows Flee Away

Song of Solomon 2:16-17 My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies. Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether.


Senegal coucal in my garden calling to her mate

The Senegal coucal, a bird as lovely and mysterious as its exotic name suggests, has been wonderfully endowed by her creator. She is painted with every hue contained in the landscape. Her head and tail are the deep blue-green of the Kangari Hills where this beautiful bird dwells. Her throat and belly are the soft white of the mists which enshroud the jungle hills. Her wings and back are the red-bronze of the clay soil from which the hills are formed. And hidden beneath her wings, as if in the very soil itself, is the gold which is buried in the hills.

But the thing which most intrigues me about the Senegal coucal is her call. It sounds something like a descending laugh but it is the kind of laugh which suggests some secret sorrow is hiding behind it; haunting and mournful. To further exaggerate this expression of sorrow, as she is calling, the coucal bows her head and raises her partially spread wings.

The sorrow of her heart is that she is longing for her beloved, the one whom her soul loves best, but they are separated.

Until the day breaks and while we still dwell in the shadows of the mountains of Bether (meaning separation) our hearts long to be with our beloved, the Lord Jesus Christ. But the longing is not only in our hearts. How He desires to be with His fair one, His purchased possession, His espoused bride. But until that day we bow our heads and lift up holy hands in communion of heart with our beloved. “Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices.” (Song of Solomon 8:14)

Then faintly, even imperceptibly but to her listening ears, comes the answer from across the hills, “Surely I come quickly.” (Revelation 22:20)

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