Even the wind chimes are only murmuring today, an aimless tune that starts and stops, starts and stops, starts. Occasionally a housefinch sings in duet, but mostly it is busy watching me from the corner of the roof, bright-eyed, curious. Now and then it offers a pithy chirp—a word of advice, perhaps, the kind of thing that would be thought wise by other finches.
This is the first afternoon that has been warm enough to sit out on the patio. Since the garden faces east it is shaded once the sun crosses the roof-line and generally too cool for comfort. Today, however, even the shadows are pleasant. The weather is so springlike that I expect all the other lives in the garden to have quickened with the crocuses, but it's early in the year and late in the day, and except for the finch and the wind chimes, the garden is quiet.
In this warmth it seems odd not to hear the buzz of honey- and bumblebees, the click of the occasional locust, the trill of hummingbird wings; not to see ants trudging in ragged lines, hoverflies feeding at feverfew and yarrow, cabbage moths making their drunken progress (if progress it can be called) in the breeze.
But the garden is still hushed, quiescent. Only the crocuses have come fully to life, and even they walk softly over winter. They respect its dead; they barely disturb the fallen leaves as they grow. Their colors are gentle with the past.
Spring has wakened but not yet roused—this is the calm of somnolence, the stillness before dawn, the pause between one breath and the next.
A small spider floats from a tree branch on its silken tether and drifts silently to the ground.