Betsy posted a reflection on Wendell Berry’s “The Peace of Wild Things” on this blog about a month ago just after a new-fallen snow.
The past two weeks have often offered 70-degree temperatures and springlike weather. Daffodils and forsythia and cherry trees are blooming all over this part of the world in mid-February!
As I’ve walked on the nearby trails that have now offered almost four seasons of views and reflection, I have heard spring peepers on these warm February days. If you haven’t heard them, here’s a few seconds of the song of these tiny chorus or tree frogs. And here is a blog with photos (I’ve never seen one myself, only loved hearing the sound of their chorus). The sound is hardly peaceful, but it is certainly hopeful. Hopeful that spring really is about to arrive. Hopeful in the sense that new life is possible. Hopeful.
The peepers evoked some memories, and my own reflections. In the Farther Along writing group, we often write to prompts that may be a line from a poem or a phrase. “Let the musical croaking begin” caught my ear and this followed:
Let the musical croaking begin.
The sound of spring peepers weaves in and out in the woods near the water.
Walking down Hawkins Road, three children in tow: one explorer, one assembler, one observer. Two toddling, part running, one worn in a sling next to my heart, we stop to listen to the spring peepers raising their peeps toward warmth just at the shady part of the dirt road near the stream.
In the dark of an evening on Harper Road, one child driving, another learning, the third yearning, we hear the peepers in Blanket Bottom Creek.
Blanket Bottom Creek trickles its warming water over the rocks and branches and streams the peeping sounds next to the two-story green house, the homeplace of great grandfather Tennyson and great grandmother Virginia long before we heard it, long after.
Three children, two tall and one small, tromp down a path to the Big Creek in Tobaccoville to dig up orange daylilies for transplanting, harbingers of June, school’s-out flowers, and we hear bigger frogs now croaking, past peeping. We can hear them at dusk from the porch of the cabin built as we built our family, step by step, log by log, baby by baby.
Farther away between the sound and the sea, we cannot sleep until we have listened for the song of the tree frogs, the “ahbee” as a small one called the frog she saw nightly on the window–for hoppy? or happy?
In the mountain cove in Virginia with cousins, long after childhood, we savor the sound of tiny frogs breaking the crisp silence of winter. We close our eyes to remember the joys and to heal from the pains of all our other lives.
Now I listen to the Muddy Creek peepers and the song satisfies, soothes. Nickel-sized frogs peep in and peep out, breathing in spring, breathing out winter, now past the teardrop-shaped tadpoles, on to new growth in old water paths.
Let the musical croaking continue.