Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Silence: From one Pond to Another

It was two nights ago when I first heard that brave lone peeper singing confidently out of tune. His notes echoed sharply through the damp spring air, over my head and off into the woods. It didn’t matter if he made mistakes, only that he sang with passion. I abandoned the urge to applaud, knowing that it would rob me of the joy of his sensual ballad.

I admired him and understand the significance of getting one’s chops up before the others congregate, tune and fill the senses with a cacophony of the wildest, deepest strains possible, drunk with the spirit of lanky Cato’ nine tails.

Today I heard the others. Today you were lost in the swell of spring within not one, but two ponds. I dropped my rake and walked softly to the other pond, knowing full well that it would dry up soon.

I searched each stump until I found the one without a crop of mushrooms or moss. I sat down facing the impermanent body of water. The only sign of music melted into a half dozen rings to resonate and ripple towards the makeshift shore.

We each waited patiently for the other to leave. In my determination, I was certain that I could outlast them. I heard the frogs in the enduring pond in the distance; I wished I had chosen them instead. They too would have ceased in my presence; they always do. I decided to have no regrets as I turned my face upwards to bathe in the sun.

The ripples finally diminished into a glassy surface that reflected the rushy greens and giant pines. I felt something tickling my leg. Expecting a fly, I was pleased to discover a newly hatched Grote’s Sphinx moth. The wings boast fragments similar to the orangey monarch design – enough to uphold in adversity – carefully woven into the corner of each small, fuzzy wing.

I put my finger in front of its head in hopes that it would climb aboard like others in the past, and adorn my ring finger for several enchanting moments. He did not have time for such frivolity; he fluttered to my other leg and continued his jittery walk.

We sat together and waited for the end of the frogs’ intermission. I cringed at the thought of my newest friend becoming a tasty morsel. No one should drive a bargain such as that.

It wasn’t until I decided to leave that the moth perched onto my ring finger – unrivaled by any other jewel – and accompanied me to the other pond where all fell silent upon my approach like they always do.

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