The hermit thrush’s unusual double voicebox allows it to sound two notes simultaneously. The result is a meandering, reverberant melody under the trees that clenches the heart. Today I was graced with a particularly poignant hermit thrush duet. My heart flushed with feeling; I held my breath, awed.
I was carrying out a task for cousins. “Can you please return these to Charley’s stone?” they asked before departing yesterday. Absolutely. The family had touched up a collection of painted rocks that decorate a memorial stone for their brother/uncle Charley, who died at the hands of a lunatic with a gun 27 years ago. He was 21.
As I arranged the rocks, I glanced at the next stone, memorializing Charley’s 1st cousin Andrew, who died of a rare disease at 24, three years later. Two young men who loved this island and left the world too soon. Their stones lie beneath the spruces, near markers for their uncle and grandparents, while hermit thrushes sing their hymns of hope and loss, grieving and glorifying.
My 60th year in 60,000 words
Day 335: 172 words, TOTAL = 54,381; 5,619 remaining
Robin Clifford Wood is a writer and writing teacher. She lives in central Maine with her husband and dogs, loves to be outdoors, and enjoys ever-expanding horizons through her grown children and their multi-species families.