nature, sounds, winter

january

January doesn’t exactly call to you. It’s easy to zone out in the numbness of these dull, dreary days. And sometimes the look of January isn’t enough even to make me look up. But the sounds out there, they still work.

There’s no one else around mid-afternoon, and it’s quiet. I try to convince myself it’s peaceful, but the mood is more like melancholy. Trees and what’s left of plants look like they’re scarcely holding on. It’s a still cold quiet void. Quiet and gray. My spirit too.

Yet, if you hang around the quiet long enough, there’s more than silence.

A subtle rippling, just audible. Water moving over stones and around bends. Slow enough to make singular tones. Soothing. Like listening from another room, while someone strums a guitar. Slowly picking the strings, one string at at time.

That kind of soothing.

Then the cheeps. Tiny cheeps. I’m partial to towhees, and they never let me down. Winter, summer, doesn’t matter. They’re around, and they’re gonna cheep. But other birds too. The cardinals, for sure. Their winter tones are sweet. Comfortable, less commanding, less stressed, almost purposeless. Not the loud complicated spring show-off mating songs or the summer alarms and calls. It’s soft and gentle. As if they’re going about life, hunting the brush for a meal or snack, and mindlessly humming.

There’s been too much gray. Too much cloudy. I’d rather have snow. But we get comfort where we can. And January brings a quiet comfort. If nothing else, it brings quiet. Quiet intersecting lonely intersecting reassurance. A kind of hushed reassurance.

life, night sky, thoughts

the end of may

Sometimes I sit out back in the dark
at the end of a depressing day,
and it’s quiet,
just quiet,
nothing but me and the quiet.

Sometimes I see stars shining up there, far past the trees.
But tonight,
I don’t see stars.
Just the tops of tall trees and past them nothing.
Nothing but gray skies.

Sometimes I look up and see a flicker.
Or I imagine a flicker.
Like a firefly?
It’s too soon, isn’t it?
I remember the 4th of july when fireflies lit up those trees
like some kind of magic.
Like the magic that’s only real in memories.

Sometimes sitting in the dark listening to the quiet makes me think.

photograph from may 23, 2020