Calling To Spring

(Written Last Weekend) This morning an old hoot owl sang from the tree tops. Some believe him to be associated with many things. Right now, I wonder if perhaps he is calling to Spring to come, just as he called to Winter last year.

The wind has grown still and the sun is sinking low. Doves coo and crows gather. In the bottomlands, the voices of the coyotes begin to wake. Not a single blade of dead grass moves. Not a single limb of a tree shakes on this warm evening. It is another of those moments when things are still, but, thankfully, not too still.

Suddenly I sneeze and a cow somewhere across the dirt road answers. Even though I hear vehicles driving down some farm road a mile or so away, I cannot hear a single human voice.

I can remember as a child sleeping with the windows open on nights such as these. Before the popular world went insane. Before locked doors and locked windows. Before the world I knew had to worry about such things.

An insect passes by, but I doubt it will make it a week, not with the ice that is predicted to fall over the coming days.  Now I watch the last of this day's direct light sink below the horizon. 

I once watched a man saying goodnight to the sun. Ever since I have tried to wake before the sun rises and to notice when it sets. Even though often I fail in this task, I try to remember to ask myself, "Was this a good day?".

It won't be long now until the stars are out. Not long before a visible Orion crosses the sky, a constellation I identify with because I once took a college astronomy course when Orion was in the sky. It was the Orion nebula that was pointed out to me then through a telescope. That seems like so many years ago now. I'm sure those years never even phased what makes up Orion.

Ever wonder what we would see if we were able to fast forward the movement of a nebula from photographs to movies that made thousands of years look like mere minutes? I suspect we might see the wings of angels, artistically speaking.

As the Earth continues to turn, night is approaching from the east, much faster than I wish, for it is the daylight that I cherish far more than the night these days. At times though, I still enjoy staring up at the stars.

A squirrel begins to bark at something; he seems rather upset. Perhaps the coyotes have moved out of the bottomlands; they have surrounded the cabin before. 

Birds dance through the trees; something has moved them this way. I can hear it traipsing through the forest. It draws near. My ears grow alert the closer it approaches. My eyes grow wide as it is growing dark. Crickets begin to chirp. 

Movement again. Now there are two of them  One approaches from the north, one from the east. I hear a limb break. My ears are so attuned now that I can make out the hum of a security light that is turning on several hundred yards away.

Cardinals, a flock of them, settle in the yard around me. Of all the things to have been spooked by! They are picking up something, perhaps acorns, and breaking them with their beaks. It is so still that it sounds like twigs snapping.

It is dark now; time to move back inside. There's the old hoot owl again signaling the end of one amazing evening.