Outside of a Choir of Crickets, of Course

In the truly early morning, long before most alarm bells have the urge to ring and the only risen from slumber souls in the world are of those too old to waste valuable precious time on sleep and coffee purveyors readying for their essential role in a society prone to the neverending battle of finishing out the Late Show and catching some few sound bites from the morning news, and perhaps a restless man standing on his back porch listening to the symphonic chirp whistling of it all, is when the natural world is truly at it’s busiest. Unseen birds of a presumed cavalcade of Crayola variety yell out good morning tunes through standing tall trees who’s only declarations for the day are the soft rustling of caressing the wind as it moves ever onward across the land. Before the steam of the pot typically boiling water can rise, before any of the familiar sounds of Highway 101 just a quarter mile inland can begin logging trucking- and school busing out the buzz of our hive life, the loudest silence outside of a choir of crickets plays out.

The landlords of this three story tissue box style home had hung a flag long before our arrival, American in nature but lacking 37 stars and donned with the number 76. It rarely waved in the wind. The sun didn’t make it’s way across it’s stripes except on the rare convergence of a sunny day and the few hours around zenith where our planet’s favorite star could find a straight line of sight down through the canopy of hemlocks and Douglas’ firs. Golden though, was the color that it crept in sideways through the tall boys at this hour. Only just under three months into this world, a baby stirs looking for his momma in the basement bedroom. No signs of life from grandma, or the 9 year old who would have no reason to wake early on the weekend, and less still to do so on a Sunday morning living with less than devoutly religious parents and no television to keep him company. The trailer park next door apparently would agree with the conclusion.

The sky only recently gave way to Spring, the April Showers portion laid heavily in its time, but this particular morning could be both marked on the actual calendar and seen in the more obvious way that nature determines even moreso than official date and time stamps, as May, and with yellow and purple tulips and a variety of other mayflowers in vases around the place in homage, poured in its promise of summer. A school year has gone by in these three coastal villages, our oceanfront home of Manzanita, our river dwelling neighbors’ Nehalem and that more sultry, fisherman’s beard on the bay, Wheeler, and we’ve watched a baby grow from a bump under his mother’s breasts into an all night companion. Having traded the every day sound of the ocean coming in through our bedroom windows for a tower large enough to house a five person family near the highway, I wonder what dogs have managed to pull their owners out for a romantic morning game of fetch the driftwood, even as the cars begin to hum their daily tunes. From this highway we could, at any point and most likely in the near future, descend America’s left hand down the Oregon Coast, into the Avenue of the Giants and on through San Francisco; or northern up our affairs into Washington bound for the Olympics, pushing even further and symbolically into British Columbia. But for now, it’s a month of early summertime and all of the beach fires, Coastal Range hikes and corner bar nights at the Lighthouse we care to squeeze in. The fridge begins to hum, the sound of my bedroom basement door creaks its way open, today begins.

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