Simple Liberty  



Reflections From The Front Porch

Hermit Thrushes

Written by Darrell Anderson.

Yesterday evening (early spring) I heard my favorite sound — the hermit thrushes have returned to the northern woods. The forest’s natural flutists!

As a friend once told me, the hermit thrush is like listening to the Fairy Queen from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, sitting in the trees, playing a flute.

I never heard a hermit thrush until I moved permanently to the woods. I was building my house during my first full summer here and although I probably heard the hermit thrush, house building has a way of consuming one’s mind and efforts. The next summer when I had time to appreciate the house and my cherished spot in the woods, I finally heard the bird consciously for the first time. I was completely mesmerized.

Some people say there is no such thing as love at first sight. They are wrong. From the very first note I fell in love with the hermit thrush. I still am in love and I always shall be. Many times I have sat outside in the evening and listened to my lovely companions. During those times I read no books and I entertain no deep thoughts. I merely sit outside and enjoy one of the true mysteries of our universe. I think, in a poetic sense, that the last sound I want to hear when I take my last breath should be a hermit thrush.

Mozart is an amateur compared to the hermit thrush. There are some things that simply must be enjoyed without deep explanations or analysis. Although I tend to be emotionally reserved, the hermit thrush regularly brings me close to tears. I can’t explain the effect. Just sitting here now and writing these words about the hermit thrush has put a lump in my throat. I have no explanation, but often the most simple things in life are the most wondrous.

Perhaps hermit thrushes are the Sirens of my own Odyssey.


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