In May 2011, after four years of life on McNutt's Island, we moved to Montreal. This blog remains, though, as a (sort of) daily record of our time on the island, and a winding path for anyone who would like to meander about among its magical places. For additional perspectives and insights I recommend Greg's book, Island Year: Finding Nova Scotia (2010), and my Bowl of Light (2012). I'll continue to post once in a while. If you do want to read this blog, one option would be to begin at the beginning of it (which is, as we all know, in blog-world, at the end), and read forward, concluding with the most recent entry. It's a journal, really, so it does makes more sense if you read it that way. But, you know, read it any way you like.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

how the music changes

The birds have been slipping away for some time now. I last saw the hummingbirds in the evening on the 31st so I guess they left that night, or early the next morning. They didn't say good-bye, even after we had such a good time together. The juncos and sparrows and mourning doves have left too, along with their babies. The warblers no longer flit among the bayberry down in the bog. The woods where the kinglets dwell is silent. And I haven't seen the robins for a while, though some of them winter over here, so maybe they are only taking a short vacation.

Yesterday I heard a white-throated sparrow's half-hearted song, and there's still one small sparrow of some sort who believes the vegetable garden is her personal kingdom. Other than those laggards, most of the beautiful singers -- the ones that make you stop whatever you're doing and listen -- have gone away and they didn't say where.

As sometimes happens, when the lead singers go off in search of greater glory or at least someplace warmer, you are not exactly bereft after all. It turns out that there were other musicians here all along, practicing quietly to themselves and waiting for their moment. Now their moment has come and they are ready. Bees and grasshoppers and dragonflies saw away on their tiny fiddles. Red squirrels add percussive texture. Lamb and ewe duets offer heart-felt recitative. The seal chorus really only knows its one song, but they love it dearly and never get tired of singing it over and over, their end-of-summer lament.

And there's the single loon who lives year-round in the cove. She's an aged alto, once famous but now retired to this obscure spot. She's still got her voice, and when she sings the island's enthusiastic amateurs fall silent, as anybody would in the presence of greatness.

1 comment:

Karen said...

There's something about the loons...