A bit of robin song – though much quieter and infrequent than in springtime - is still audible in the background of the early morning chorus. I hear their presence.
The volume of hunger-peeps from swallow nestlings has been increasing in proportion to the size of the chicks in the nest. Over the past week as several nests-full fledge, their robust squawk-cheeps are in grown-up decibels as they dart and dash in arcing swoops around our yard. Many times over recent weeks, they have watched me from the eaves. For the short bit of time that they and I are in community (before their departure for two and half seasons), I will listen to them with reverence.
The lavender is in full bud. Every time I walk down the outside steps which border the garden, I gently grab a spire, caress it, and bring my lavender-scented palm to my nose. Every time, almost involuntarily, I hear myself mutter: Mmmmm! The dark purple, oily flowers-to-be are asking me to harvest them; they want to be in service to beauty.
Two different species of bee, each as intrigued with the lavender as I am, pause long enough for a photo. Each of us regards the other, but keeps our focus on the burgeoning purple.
I catch sight this morning of a fledgling who tears out of the nest box, soars high into the air, and makes contact – twice – with a parent high overhead who appears each time to pass along a tasty morsel beak t0 beak. I hear their familial bond.
A hemlock’s droopy top is caught in a small swell of wind. I hear only silence as its tip bends down to the left, touching the tiptop of the cedar next to it. I am amazed that this repeats several times. Each repetition I hear the love between a hemlock and a cedar.
The clicking pzzzt-buzz of juncos shouting warnings is part of the foreground melody of the active bird life.
I see someone pass by on my deck as I sip my wake-me-up coffee today. She is calling me over to the glass door; I do as I'm told. Expecting to see sparrows and juncos doing their dance – a gift I do not take for granted, I am stunned to see one of the small wild bunnies dashing to and fro across the wooden planks. I thought I had given her, the mama, and her siblings ample attention the many times I have seen them nibbling in the grass, foraging in the gravel driveway. But today she is asking for more, even as she plays hide and seek. She teases me with questions about how and why she is on my deck. I quietly listen, trying to answer.
Thrush. Wren. Flicker. Pileated woodpecker. Goldfinch. Each one calls me: the hello of a flash of colorful wing, a drumming for food, the chattering and flitting on my deck, a quiet perch atop the fence post, a song to break open a heart. I hear each of you.
Fresh bear scat is showing up again all around my home. I almost feel I can hear the shadow of a black bear lumbering through our woods. One night recently I dream that I am face to face with a bear and I listen to her as she tells me that we are all wild.
* * *
Nonhumans are communicating. Whispering. Calling. Shouting. Silently beseeching. We will heal ourselves a little bit more in each moment that we recognize our parity with all other living beings. The tasks are: to pay attention, to listen, to openheartedly respond.