I Listen For My Voice

I have become reconciled to Spring.  Even though it puts the soft chills of Autumn and Winter to flight, I do not resent that pastel-colored season.  If Summer is a lazy voluptuous woman, immobile in her thick and fragrant bower, then Spring is blithe and slim: as changeable as sunlight under water, breaking into watery prisms, impossible to count.

Spring is busy.  Nature's offspring are born during that verdant time, when the earth becomes lush again and the air is blue and spinning.

During these months, birds become loud, reckless and bold.  Where I live, real estate is at a minimum, and the days are strident with their arguments.  Gables, street signs, garages, rooftops – all are populated with perfect creatures that maneuver through the air with a mathematical ascendancy.

Their songs pierce the sunlight until the golden fabric becomes a pattern of their febrile joy. 

When I walk to work, I always pass by a row of decorative shrubs: prickly, tropical and dense.  Once, I heard in their sultry depths the plaintive pwee-pwee of a newborn bird – too childish to realize the danger of its voice.  I stopped, hoping I could discern where the nest was.  It was then that I saw a peculiar machine perched on top of the shrubbery.  It was a mockingbird, rising its wings up and down like an automaton, a heraldic toy.

It was trying to make itself as intimidating as possible.  But despite this whimsical masquerade, I moved closer.  It was the sight of its needle-like beak, ready to embroider the skin of any intruder, that finally gave me pause.  I spoke a few calming words, all the while waiting for the gasp of wings: the impatient breath in my ear should I not be retreating quickly enough.

I have often thought about the words I spoke to that angry parent.  Mockingbirds are famous mimics, and I imagined this bird measuring my voice, analyzing its tonal equations.  And I hope to hear it again one day, coming back from its green, concealed places or floating down to me from the sky.

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10 responses to “I Listen For My Voice

  1. and would that not be an act of cleverness by the great feathered mimic. your neighborhood is delightful. or you make it sound such with your enticing prose.

  2. This spring has been fickle and moody, a petulant girl intent on breaking hearts with ferocious gossip. But we love her anyway.

  3. "If Summer is a lazy voluptuous woman, immobile in her thick and fragrant bower, then Spring is blithe and slim: as changeable as sunlight under water, breaking into watery prisms, impossible to count." I love this imagery so much, I wish it were possible to drink it.

  4. Reading your posts is like a thrill ride with wonderful surprise turns around each bend. But as soon as I read, "I saw a peculiar machine…" I knew exactly what it was! Mockingbird casting a spell upon you!Lovely writing again, Missy!

  5. 😉 I LOVE hearing the baby chicks peeps in bushes and treesThis made me smile

  6. Beautifully written!!

  7. Wbaby – much of the neighborhood that I walk through is charming. I am invariably late to work; for there is so much to see, and it would be a crime to rush or, god forbid, drive by those many sights.
    Doug – I've read that a mockingbird has a repertoire of 200 songs. It might be aggravating to its neighbors but I can't help but think that it would be delightful. Even when it hisses I can't help but smile.
    Lisa – if I could I would gather together a cellar full of vintage words for you!
    pyrit – welll, I must say, the mockingbird completely surprised me. I envy you very much that you immediately knew what this was; the recognition speaks of distances from the city and backyards full of tall trees.
    Lavender – I also love hearing the tiny, hidden voices, but I can't help but worry about them – they should keep still and quiet! The doves in Boyfriend's garage, on the other hand, are utterly silent – wisely, they never utter a word.
    DKN – thank you! Even as I write this, the air is rich with bird songs; they will help lighten the final 3 hours of the working day (providing the phones calm down).

  8. Another exquisite view into your world – how I love the way you describe the seasons!

  9. Excellent writing Aubrey!! I love the trick that you could hear your own voice coming back to you. Birds are ferocious little creatures. They have great spirits and you captured this in your prose.Lucy

  10. Sweet ode to this season, a very nice read. Your thoughts were mine exactly today – maybe it's just me – but I feel the spinning and rushing of time going by. Here we have exacly 4 seconds to enjoy the easy weather before we're balancing and skidding on ice and scraping off freezing windshields before our day even begins. (Sorry….).
    Lovely photos – birds have great centering spirits.

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