As I write this, I’m sitting out on my balcony at 9:15 a.m. It is 69 delicious degrees out. I would be sitting in my lounger, but the sun has chosen to glare down at that corner for the moment so I’m at my umbrella table. There is no humidity and I can feel the caress of a slight breeze on my arm.
As I look around, I see green leaves on all the trees with the exception of the Mulberry, which has quite a few yellow leaves that are dying. I see two frantic flying insects chasing each other across the balcony, totally ignoring me. This is their turf, I guess. A blue jay flies in, landing on a bouncy branch. He sits there looking around for about a minute and then suddenly takes to the air again. I always wonder what birds are thinking. Was that one meeting someone who didn’t show up? Or does he just fly and rest, fly and rest all day long? There are those who say that birds have too small a brain to think, but really, how do they know? You’d have to be bird to really know.
The cicadas just started up, even though it is daylight. As I sit here and concentrate on listening, I hear all sorts of insect chittering sounds, with a bird call thrown in here and there. But the insects are definitely winning this Battle of the Bands. Their calls swell in the air until they are really loud and then they die away. Then another group with a slightly different melody takes their place. I can also hear cars on the highway in the distance and a closer car which just honked two times. Oh, and I just identified another noise. Interesting. One by one those yellow Mulberry leaves are falling off the tree much more loudly than you’d expect. They appear to be the texture of leather and when one falls off, you can hear it hit branch after branch on the way down with a kind of “thump thump.” And then there is actually a definite “clunk” sound as they hit the driveway. These are very loud leaves. I hear, but don’t see, geese honking overhead, perhaps heralding the beginning of the end of summer?
It’s funny. It’s such a lovely peaceful morning and yet, when you listen, really listen, the air is filled with a non-stop cacophony of sound. Most of us are so busy or preoccupied and we never notice. The more I think about it, the more convinced I am that there’s never an absence of sound in Nature. The noises change, but there’s always something.
Anyway, this beautiful, cool morning, which I have been waiting for for so long, is all mine today. Breathing in the fresh air, observing the pale blue sky, the trees, the birds, and listening to the symphony of the insects – all these things take me away, at least for the moment, from my troubles.
And that little reprieve, however brief it may be, is certainly welcome.