Saturday, September 9, 2017

listening to a wood thrush

this post was scheduled to appear last Wednesday, but it didn't, so it's here now

Somewhere in the cosmos I reckon that there is some one who flips a switch each year on Labor Day, and the sounds of summer disappear.  The birds stop singing, the traffic on country roads slows, even the dogs don't bark as much.  

 Early Labor Day morning I walked  through the woods, along an old logging road, a gentle summery breeze rustled the leaves,  the distant sounds of traffic were near absent.   The only sounds were my own footsteps.   And I paused, not to dwell on the sadness and stress of the year past, but to feel grateful, to finally be here.   To be  returning to my childhood home.

The stillness was broken by one solitary bird, a wood thrush, it's complex song has always been my favorite.   I recall that someone, and Aunt or cousin, neighbor may-be, it really doesn't matter told me that it was a woodsprite whistling to let me know I was welcome here. Truly I did feel welcome.

A big part of any holiday or celebration was sitting on the huge front porch of my Grandparent's home, with cousins, Aunts and Uncles and occasional neighbors, of which there were few, after supper.   We would watch the cars go past, and listen to the corn stalks rustling their way dry, so they could be cut down and used for fodder during the coming months.   Off in the distance there were whippoorwills, we entertained ourselves but repeating their   distinctive call back to them.    Gradually the darkness  surrounded us, and the few passing cars had their lights on.  A chill , but sweet breeze  rose from the fields, as the grown-ups talked about grown-up stuff.
Some evenings the breeze came from the direction of the cow barn, but we were used to that pungent aroma.   Gradually everyone made their way home.  I was always the last to go into the house, say my Goodnights, then to drift off into dreams.  

Many years. actually over 6 decades later, I found myself again on that huge front porch.  But this time alone, watching the cars and waiting to hear whippoorwills, but none called, and none returned my calls.  I wasn't expecting it to be the same, I am not the same, but I was finally home.

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