Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Near my parents' home is a bench inscribed with a dedication to a former member of their town. Former because she passed away several years ago. I did not know of the woman, who she was or where she lived but the inscription speaks to me. It invites passersby to stop, sit and "listen to nature's songs."
I've not thought of the instruction often. Or at least not followed it. Usually, I'll walk by, arms pumping, heart pounding, getting in a decent workout before returning to the kids. Rarely, we'll stroll past the bench with the boys. Then, we will sit and, sometimes, do as bid. Only, though, because one or the other is too tired to go on. Those times, we hear the contented cluck of a vineyard hen, feathering in the dirt. The coaxing coo of a mourning dove. The shiver of branches rustled by morning's breeze.
Other times, when I think back to the bench. Walking one evening, past the old cemetery, we left the small wine country town behind us and ventured into the hills. Up toward the old stone bridge, mossy and riddled with town rumors, beyond the meadow, passing a downed oak tree, and marching under stretching fir trees.
As it was evening, it was quiet already. We shushed the boys. Reminded them of the bench and its direction. In the silence of the spring night, owls' songs reverberated among us. Wild turkeys gossiped in the hills, moving to and fro. A buck and three does froze and then dashed into the woods, rustling the berry bushes as they fled. And, overhead, without the slightest sound, a great horned owl soared.
Nature's songs and nature's silence.
Thank you for the reminder, bench. I needed that.
This is my submission for the Green Moms Carnival, to be hosted at The Green Phone Booth on May 12th. The topic is reconnecting with nature. Check it out on the 12th to see how green women think we can be one with the wild world.