It isn’t raining at the moment. Well, maybe it is raining a little, but barely. The sun is setting and we have that rare light when the bright sun shines under the clouds, coloring them steel gray and blasting the green hills with brightness. It won’t last long. The distant mountain tops are bright and I can see that rain falls there, and the shadows are creeping.
It has rained for a couple of days straight. I planted flower seeds with the children on Tuesday afternoon, before dinner. Then it rained. And rained. It is Friday now, about the same hour we planted the seeds. Three days of wet. I think they have gotten enough water to germinate.
I have not needed to uncoil the hose to water the garden. In fact, I have been afraid that the garden has been getting too much water. Last summer we had a wet spell that ruined some of our crops, including carrots. They rotted in the ground. Nothing I planted is so advanced that it will rot but this rain might keep some seeds from starting as I would like. We’ll have to see what happens.
A hermit thrush tosses out its flutey voice over the wet trees behind the house. It is an unassuming bird, what you might call an LBJ, a Little Brown Jobber, so similar to so many other bland birds. Its voice, however, stops me at times. Milton and Shakespeare and all those other dead English bards wrote about the nightingale, another thrush, whose voice trilled through the woods with sweetness. I am sure they would have written their odes to the hermit thrush had they lived in Vermont.
We will likely get more rain showers over the next couple of days, but I am hoping the sun will come out to feed the new leaves on our squash plants and to warm the soil so the flowers will grow. But that won’t happen until tomorrow. Right now the land quiets. The air is still, filled with moisture, heavy. A robin adds to the thrush’s song. Spring peepers and wood frogs sing out from the pond over the hill. The light grows grayer.
It is not raining, but the rain has set the scene for a perfect early evening in spring. Time to slide on some boots and head out there to smell it and feel it.
Dear Matt, This piece is beautifully written!…almost poetic. I’m a voice-over actor, especially for audio books and narration, and I couldn’t resist reading it aloud…it flows so beautifully with such lovely descriptions.
I found your piece through Google Alerts, keyword: Voice Over. It picked up your phrase, “…its flutey voice over the wet trees…” I’m glad it did. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks.