Gray mid-morning, and the sound of bells comes and goes on the wind. A downy woodpecker telegraphs his hunger from a limb of the big maple.
My eyes water from lack of sleep, and the sun too looks bleary, shining through clouds. A sudden loud sigh from the vicinity of the pines.
A silent ordnance drifting on the wind crumbles on impact against my legs. I suddenly realize I haven’t heard a Carolina wren in weeks.
Foot-deep drifts across the porch, and the western ridge is plastered white. Above the snow-banshees, I hear blue jays calling.
Wind-whipped snow. I imagine a pep-talk in the cloud nursery: You’re a star! You’re unique! And no mention of gray mounds in a parking lot.
The soft trills of a screech owl an hour before dawn. I sip my coffee as quietly as I can.
It’s one of those perfect winter mornings from my childhood: bright sun on deep snow and even the shadows sparkling as I shake my head.
The crescent moon behind the trees gives the newfallen snow an antique cast. It’s very cold. A distant train is the only other moving thing.
A spotlight from the other house gives me my first good look at the new landscape: soft focus and unlikely curves like a Playboy centerfold.
Sound is out of the east, and the sun’s a dimple in the gray. The feeder birds squabble. Would I guess a storm is coming if I didn’t know?
A cloudless morning. The squeaky chatter of winter finches, so forlorn on an overcast day, now seems like the sound of happiness itself.
A new half-inch of snow. The wind brings traffic noise from over the ridge and the nasal calls of a chickadee. A tree cracks its knuckles.
My meditative sit is spoiled by the incessant scolding of a squirrel, set off by a feral tabby. Now I know why Nanzen killed the cat.
Wind and water, scattered chirps of winter finches, the sound of two freight trains going through the gap: exactly the music I needed.