April 05, 2013

Woke to singing

It’s the silence of winter that gets to me more than anything. When I walk in the frozen woods, I hear nothing but my own breathing, my own boots crunching through the crust of snow. The tracks at my feet are the only indication that I’m not alone in the vast white world. Here, a deer came running through hours ago: there, a rabbit passed by.

When I wake up on a winter morning, the only sounds I hear are low and harsh: the scrape of a metal snow shovel against porch or pavement. The frantic scratching of a cat, paws against glass, trying to get into the warm house. The salt truck rumbling down the street, scattering crystals onto ice. The distant whir of snow blowers.

This week, here at the beginning of April, I’ve been listening anxiously every time I slide open the door for the cats or run down the muddy driveway to the mailbox. I’ve been waiting for the music that means the return of warm weather.

At dawn this morning, I woke to hear songs loud enough to vibrate through the double panes of storm windows, the twittering and chirping and chattering of spring birds. Tree frogs chimed in with their shrill melodies. A woodpecker began a rhythmic tapping. I opened the window to hear it all: the singing, the thrumming, the awkward squawkings.

Every creature welcomes spring. My old cats don’t roam far any more, but just the opportunity to sleep outside in the sun or creep under the lilac bushes is enough to make them happy. (And by happy, I mean that they stop peeing on the living room carpet.) Boy-in-Black and Blonde Niece have already been throwing a disc out in the backyard, getting in shape for Ultimate Frisbee games.

We still have pockets of snow — tucked against the north side of the house and beneath the stand of old conifers — but the birds and frogs have made their announcement: spring is here.


radagast said...

I'm mostly a silent lurker, jo(e), but occasionally I just have to let you know how much I enjoy your writing and your translation of the world. Thank you.

jo(e) said...

Aw, thanks, radagast.

rented life said...

I am always waiting for the same sound, birds in the morning...or the cats sitting in the windows making noises at the birds. Happy to see spring!