In the Quiet of the Morning

As I sit here at the table, enjoying the last of my cup of coffee, I’m surrounded by the quiet sounds of a typical spring morning on the homestead.

Even through the thick cabin walls I hear the sweet song of hermit thrushes, newly arrived this morning (see A Shy Summer Neighbor: The Hermit Thrush). They’ve joined the local chorus, which at the moment includes, among others, ruby crowned kinglets, varied thrushes, and, also new today, Swainson’s thrushes.

There’s no wind, so the cacophony of the sea lions at their Gran Point haul-out, across Lynn Canal, carries clearly across the miles. Their fishing season goes well, with an early run of eulachon and the herring moving through, so they’re excited.

In the cabin, I hear the gentle drip of the water filter, and the tick of the banked fire in the wood stove. The wine jugs burble softly.

Over all, rain falls and drips from the trees, drumming quietly on the metal roof.

None of this is particularly remarkable—it’s more the rule here than its exception (see Listening to Silence and Morning and Me). But, it’s all too easy to grow accustomed to it. To take it for granted.

I need to make sure that I appreciate it more often for the rare gift it is.

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6 Responses to In the Quiet of the Morning

  1. Jean Lowe says:

    Thank you for today’s blog. I am a caregiver for my 88 yr. old husband, who is slowly but surely loosing his cognitive abilities. Your description of the sounds that surrounded you gave me an auditory picture of peace and serenity and almost brought me to your homestead to hear them!!!
    By the way, I am a friend of Russell White’s parents, Lloyd and Virginia White.
    Jean Lowe

  2. Mark Zeiger says:

    Jean, how sweet of you to say so! Thank you for blessing us with your kind words. I try to write worthwhile posts, so any time I manage to particularly touch a reader, that’s time well spent.

    Particularly in your case! My grandmother “disappeared” from us, then lingered for more than 20 years, so that possible future hangs over all of my family’s heads. For Michelle and me it’s particularly frightening, as any sort of loss of cognitive ability would likely end our life here.

    Please give my love to Lloyd and Virginia–we think of them often!

  3. Angie says:

    Mark, your post was well timed. I had just realized the day before – having driven a few miles out of town to stop and watch the seasonal seething mass of sea lions – that the thing I miss most about living out on the peninsula is the sounds I could hear without leaving the house.*

    I felt like a tourist, having to make a special trip to see animals.

    By the way (waving at Jean), I’m using a laptop I bought from Virginia White.


    * I use the term “house” loosely. You remember my old cabin.

  4. Virginia White says:

    Mark, I am always impressed by your blogs. I wish you could meet my friend, Jean. She is a wonderful person! I hope you and Michelle are well. I’m enjoying your Russian tea soap which Russ and Cindy gave me for Christmas.

  5. Mark Zeiger says:

    Virginia, thank you! Always good to hear from you. We are very well, getting very busy with the new season upon us. And, we’re even getting some more soap made, finally!

  6. Mark Zeiger says:

    Hi Angie! For our other readers, when Angie lived on the bay, she lived in one of the few cabins out here that are smaller than ours.

    I see nothing wrong in being a tourist in our own town! More of us should do that more often.

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