Where just a few days ago, the tulips were barely emerging from the soil, today I see they've grown by several inches.
I awaken now every morning to the sound of birds singing.
I was making coffee and heard birdsong out on the patio. I saw a little titmouse wren, actually quite a few of them, flitting from spot to spot rapidly, as they are wont to do.
They were in the dead remains of a Kimberly fern from last year. Maybe they will nest there. By the time I open the door to get a better look, they are gone. Drawn together in a group, they fly beyond the rooftops
The robin sits at the top of the still naked branches and calls out. It reminds me of the town crier.
The mockingbird sings a myriad of songs, all that's in its vast repertoire.
The red male cardinal calls to his mate.
I grab my camera, always close to the patio door. I go out and stand still. Watching, waiting. Trying to pinpoint where they flew to when I opened the door and startled them.
Abi goes out and gets in a chair and sits in the sun, one of her favorite places. Charlie goes about searching and inspecting and sniffing.
This is one of the most peaceful times of day for me. While many others are sleeping in on the weekend. No delivery trucks groaning down the road or alley next to my fence.
I look about the patio and it is in chaos from winter. I must get to work and set it to rights. But the weather is still a bit cool.
I need to start cutting the dead growth from my flowers and herbs and give the roots a chance to renew their energy.
When I was a child, one of the most wonderful experiences for me was when Mrs. Lipsky, my fifth grade teacher, took a small group of us early on a Saturday morning out to bird watch.
We followed along behind her, mimicking her soft steps, looking up into the trees, silent. I was in my element.
Early morning before most everyone was up, the sun not even high enough to shine down on us, we trekked through the quiet.
I suppose that is where I learned to observe the birds, be alert to their chirping and learn to identify them. It fostered my burgeoning love of nature that is even stronger today.
The world can be a chaotic place. Electronic devices fill up the silent moments, taking away the joy of just walking down a street in peace and quiet. We are besieged with sounds everywhere we go.
Still the birds do what they've always done.
I hear more and more of them every morning. Seeing one today that wasn't there yesterday.
Because of all the things that I cannot control in my environment, that I cannot mute in a loud society, this remains much the same as it did when I was a fifth grader trekking through the woods.
I have simple needs. I may be a complicated person who cannot share in all that society has to offer. But I can stand on my patio with my camera, and be one with nature. Even though a busy road is just a block or two away.
These moments are some of my very favorite ones. Relying on my eyes and ears. Waiting for spring to come.
I may never turn on a radio or listen to the news on TV. But the birdsong warms my heart and calms me like nothing else can. I am thankful for the internet, where I can follow along and find out what is going on in the world in silence.
This is as close as I can get right now to being on an island, surrounded by water. Immersed in silence, but for the sounds that nature brings.