Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Great, Long Song (reprint)



My mornings have music of their own. There are the silent melodies – the hush of predawn, the tiptoe of light, the fading darkness - sounds my ears cannot hear. There is the noise the grass makes, stretching, and the sound the dew makes, falling. There is the joyous sound of the sun bouncing up over the horizon and of the mist rising from the surface of the pond. In summer, flowers lift their faces to the light, leaves stir, clouds float, all seemingly silent, all part of the great song that has no beginning or end. Then comes the audible music - the first tentative birdsong, the crowing of a rooster, the whoosh of early traffic, the barking of a dog, the slamming of a door. Warm weather bees buzz, insects whine. WInter flakes rustle as they fall. There are small forest scurryings and squirrels chatter high in the treetops. The day-song has begun.

There are snowy mornings like today when light creeps into the darkness like a single, small chime rather than a full-concert sunrise. Falling snow sounds like a sleeping baby's breath, a small, nearly imperceptible sigh as billions of flakes drift and settle. R
ainy mornings, on the other hand, are drum recitals, tapping feet and fingers on roof and windowpane, water music with rhythm. Sounds are muted, sibilant. Rain patters, sloshes, burbles, splashes, washes clean. It gushes down drainpipes, surges over stones, streams down roadsides. Rainy days are not silent; the refrain beats on the roof of the world. Only the end of a storm is signaled with silence, the rests between the beats, the ceasing of the drum.

Afternoon music is the noise of living. It is car horns and dump trucks and sirens wailing. It is men shouting, children laughing, women talking, dogs barking, vendors selling, voices bargaining, couples arguing, bells clanging, wind blowing, birds calling, planes droning. It is phones ringing and radios blaring. It is joy and sorrow, blessing and curse, trying and failing and winning and losing, all loose and careening in the frantic hours of daylight. It is jazz and be-bop, hip-hop and boogie-woogie.

Late in the afternoon, the din begins to subside. Dissonance segues into harmony, the mid-day jazz mellows. Late afternoon symphonies are full of tranquil notes that slow the movements, soothe the tempers. The light itself changes. Gone is the high-noon heat. Summer shadows lengthen, crickets serenade the twilight, frogs begin their evening chorus. Winter dusk falls like a purple cloak spread over the land. The sun sets to a majestic overture of silence, drawing the colors of the sunlight hours about itself in splendid stillness, as if the day itself is pausing to draw breath.

The earth, too, is a living song. It is the keening of hawks, the chatter of bare branches in the wind, the murmur of water, the multitude of human prayers and praises; we are all part of the great, long song.



Reprinted for Magpie 48 prompt

21 comments:

Helen said...

This is simply beautiful ..

Deborah said...

A joy to read!

Brian Miller said...

you make such beautiful music...smiles.

Tabor said...

You done good, girl!!

Tess Kincaid said...

This is a gorgeous song.

deb said...

sung straight into my soul.

Travel Nurse Extraordinaire said...

Love this! I'm always happy to be reminded of the music around me. I'm a very auditory person and I love just listening to world. Great write!

Roberta S said...

Pauline, I love music with no entrapment in any particular genre. And I love this music you have played for us in this rant. It is truly one of the lovliest pieces I have ever heard.
Breath-takingly lovely. Carnegy Hall stuff!

steven said...

pauline this has the brilliance of the kind of understanding and knowing that comes through having been granted the sort of bright light that comes with clear insight. thankyou so much for sharing it here. wow. steven

Ruth said...

There is much energy and insight in your word descriptions of nature's sounds, Pauline. Just wonderful! I was especially arrested by the sound of falling snow like a sleeping baby's breath.

patteran said...

A rich and detailed medley, characterising the link between natural sounds and our attempts to synthesise them.

ethelmaepotter! said...

I am at a loss for words. You've said it all...and brilliantly.
VERY well deserved POTW.

Joan Tucker said...

so very beautiful, jt

Jingle said...

admirable music piece.

Pauline said...

Thank you all, for your generous and admiring comments. Now and then I get carried away but none of you seemed to mind. I'm glad you enjoyed the long song.

Tumblewords: said...

Absolutely wonderful piece!

Marion said...

I loved this...thank you for getting carried away...it is so enjoyable when you do!! This is a piece that deserves to be read every morning...

Lucy Westenra said...

Very accomplished writing. I have difficulty with this word "segue" It hasn't really infiltrated the UK yet! Can't imagine what its root is . . or which language it comes down to us from.

Pauline said...

Thanks for visiting, Lucy. The word segue comes from the Latin sequi, "to follow" and is a root word for sequel. In musical scores it means to play into the following movement without a break; in literature it means "transition without a break".

Thanks Marion. Glad you enjoy the words even when I am long winded!

And thank you Tumble, for coming to read and comment :)

Jinksy said...

Almost like the music of the spheres - a perpetual melody of life...

Ruth D~ said...

This makes my soul sing along with nature. So beautiful...