Waiting for a Song - Sept. 10th


Sitting along the edge of the river, I found myself taken by the silence. The water trickled and flowed on its customary course, perhaps gentler than usual, but the river was quiet as though it were keeping a secret. I had sat atop an old tree trunk that gently leaned and arched into the water. I thought on the force that it must have taken to topple such a massive tree was sure to have been astonishing. Though, knowing the powers of nature, it could have easily been a single gust. The place where I sat was still over the top of the bank, and the river grasses grew up, near to where I sat. It created a sensation of being on level ground, though I was undoubtedly several feet above it. Only about ten feet away to my right, the bank rose to a small, grassy patch where the grass grew so altogether short that it looked to be the ideal picnic spot.

I considered walking out over the waters, but the bark of the trunk had begun to flake, rendering my footing undoubtedly uncertain. And so I sat. I don't recall how long I remained perched there, but I stayed to clear my mind. That is when I was startled from my considerations on life by the gentle song of a bird. It took me a moment to find it, sitting no more than twenty feet down the trunk, on a branch that hung freely over the river's surface. Taken as I was by its striking charm, I was even more so by the song. Admittedly, I know little of birds, but that that I do is undoubtedly a muddled mess in my mind. However, I had a sense that what I was witnessing was rare. I can't say for certain how or why I felt this, it merely was.

Quickly I looked around to see if anyone else was witnessing this or if this was only for me. Off to my right in the small grassy patch, I noticed a little grey rabbit, though I'm not sure that it saw me. Its gaze, fixed on the songbird, who was now, at this time, on its third verse. I turned my sights back toward the song, and I watched. A gentle breeze blew in, rustled the branches and sent this rare creature skyward. It banked over the river, dipped once toward the glinting reflections and then climbed up and over the treetops. The rabbit and I traded knowing glances of what we had just witnessed, and then he was off.

While I can't speak to the rarity of this creature, it is one that I had never seen, and one that I have yet to have seen again. I frequently sit with my thoughts on this old trunk and have yet to be revisited. Time has passed since that afternoon, and the trunk has been stripped bare. The footing out over the water is much more certain these days, and I have walked out many afternoons to peer down, but mostly I take my seat above the riverbank, waiting at a respectful distance for that one more time.