Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Orchestra

They are our artists in residence each summer, miniature virtuosos returning every year to serenade us in the darkness. One hears them tuning up at twilight, a discordant note here, a sawtoothed rasp there, as if they are arriving - some early, some late - from all parts of the woodland - flitting, flying, hopping, with tiny black-cased instruments held securely under their powdery arms. I imagine them getting comfortably situated in the elbows of the trees, atop the chalk white toadstools, or under the chartreuse hydrangea blossoms, readying themselves for their nightly performance in the velvet swelter of the black July air.

With a yellow moon as its maestro, this raucous orchestra plays at decibels disproportionate to its size, each greenly invisible cricket, cicada and tree-frog adding his own unique talent to the sonorous soundtrack performed with gusto from dusk till dawn. For the nut-brown chipmunk tucked up safe in his burrow, or the solemn row of grey flannel doves asleep on the crooked poplar branch, this cacophony is but a lullaby.
The whole of the silver garden hums along.

I open the window and lie back in my cool bed, listening - to Summer, to Memory, to the bewitching omnipresence of Nature - and not for the first time, I feel delightfully small, remarkably young; just a girl with so much yet to learn.