Spring Songs

It is a beautiful day here in Humptulips County, the kind that causes young men to sing aloud and makes old men wish they still could. Birdsong is omnipresent, the birds, young and old, knowing no inhibitions about singing lustfully under a mostly blue sky. If it were Summer instead of Spring, there would be the profound undertone of insect buzz necessary to create a symphonic sound. Spring days like this are more akin to an acoustic instrumental piece played by a skilled quartet than a symphony played by a full orchestra with woodwinds and brass.

Even the Spring rain – and there has been plenty of that – has a different sound than the rains of Winter. Spring raindrops hit the ground with soft splashes that promise warmth and growth rather than cold and gloom. Standing outside, under cover, I can hear the gentle plashing of each raindrop as it falls onto the pavement from the eaves, the tinkling sound not drowned out by fierce winds as it is other times of year. Spring rain is a lullaby softly and sweetly promising good things. It is a nurturing rain, and the grass is greener for it and full of dandelions where it borders our lane.

But there is no rain today for the skies are blue. Since something other than a driving percussion line is needed on a bright blue day, the wind’s occasional soughing in the pines serves as bassline to birdsong’s melody. Today’s winds are zephyrs, just uneven enough to lend to an otherwise classical presentation a somewhat jazzy undertone. Their disciplined unexpectedness leaves the listener in constant anticipation of when the winds might next be heard and felt. Windsong is never overpowering on a day such as this, serving, instead, only as a gentle reminder of the latent power of the elemental forces that have chosen to honor its peacefulness.

Flowers are scattered about the farm and serve as visual grace notes to Spring’s song cycle. Daffodils, azaleas, rhododendrons and the odd forsythia have allowed themselves to be seen. Hardy dandelions are in their prime. While the flowers cannot be heard, Spring could not exist without their presence for they are the day’s true audience. I am merely an eavesdropper in the wings who found his way into the symphony hall without payment.

Riotous melody rules on this fine Spring day with a muted, subtle accompaniment that can best be discerned and appreciated by enjoyment of a morning cup of Irish breakfast tea with milk and sugar on our front porch. The acoustics here in the wings are fine indeed, as Spring’s soaring melodies cannot but sweeten the heart with promise.


About Gavin Stevens

Humptulips County is the wholly fictional on-line residence of Stephen Ellis, a would-be writer, an avid fan of William Faulkner and his Yoknapatawpha County, and a retired lawyer.
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