a grand public performance, admittance free

a grand perfomance, admittance free

Here in the little woodland hideaway I call home, each morning in April offers a grand public performance, admittance free. The concert hall is a deep ravine whose walls are embellished with the delicate laces of budding boughs. Springtime flora and fauna attend this event in droves – violets select quiet rear seating; showy lilacs drenched in fine perfume lean conspicuously from private balconies; girlish groups of daffodils in fluttery pastels flock to the front; fox squirrels in opulent red-tinged furs slide into the upper gallery.

Almost imperceptibly, the soft curtain of dawn lifts. The concerto begins with a solitary robin’s lilting tune. Sung sotto voce, the haunting notes rise from a darkened stage. This tenderest of melodies is soon joined by the clear, high notes of a cardinal, who repeats the well-loved refrain, “Sweeeet, sweeeet, sweeeet, birdie birdie birdie birdie!” (A tufted titmouse, anxious to assemble all latecomers, whistles with quiet urgency from a shadowy side aisle.) Next appears the simple majesty of plainsong, intoned first by the chickadees, closely followed by a sublime chorus of white-throated sparrows. Lightly layered between these familiar themes are the proficient trills and soul-stirring grace notes of goldfinches and wrens. A blue jay inserts a series of staccato notes. A woodpecker pounds on drums of oak and maple. In a poignant counterpoint at once somber, sad and sonorous, a mourning dove croons its minor descant, the oft-ignored warning that moments flee, days scatter, years vanish. On center stage at last arrives the moment worth waiting for – the house finch’s ravishing solo, delivered to perfection with the combined fervor of Caruso, Bocelli, Renée Fleming, and the fabled Jenny Lind. As the stunning aria fades into silence, the listener is left staggered, breathless, suspended midair in a moment weightless with wonder…

New leaves in the understory lift tiny green hands of praise, offer wave after undulating wave of applause; daffodils exchange nods of heartfelt approval amongst themselves; flowering crabs fling scores of congratulatory rose-tinged petals to the wind.

Right on cue, the rising sun brings up the house lights. With a sudden flick of tail or flash of wing, the stage empties. One by one, the performers take their bows and retire to mossy nests or leafy bowers to rest. Later, they’ll rehearse anew for tomorrow’s dazzling repeat performance.

(You won’t want to miss it. Shall I save you a seat?)

16 thoughts on “a grand public performance, admittance free

  1. This beautiful piece is a song itself that transported me to a magical place where I could see each creature, hear each song, and see the glory of the world around. It felt like stepping into a real fairy tale. Bravo, bravo, Amy! Yes, save me a seat, please!

    • My dear Maude, I’d be honored to save you a seat! Thank you for your willingness to slip into my fairy tale world with me. Blessings~ xoxox

  2. Bravo! Bravo! Absolutely Magnificent!! I ate up every delicious detail and the pictures you’ve painted are spectacular! I am refreshed! I will gladly take up season tickets! ♥♥

  3. Oh, my heart! Yes, please, a front-row seat for me. I can already smell the lilacs… xoxoxo P.S. That earnest little robin, with mouth wide open — sigh!

    • I’d love to share a front-row seat with you, Lynn! I love this photo, too – so much! Jeff went out specifically to capture it for me. Bless him! Much love to lovely you~ xoxo

  4. Dear Amy,
    Birdsong is one of my favorite things. And your writing is another.
    Thank you for sharing your gift of words my friend.
    ~ ellen

    • Dear Ellen, you are a true kindred, and it’s always a special joy to meet with you here along the garden path and share our mutual love of birds and nature and words. Much love to you, and many blessings~ xoxo

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