Every Good Morning

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wood_thrush_glamorThe stars we can barely see with the naked eye have a magnitude of 6, the brightest a 1; using that astronomical device, the dim sun-light breaking through our clouds this dismal week might require a new number – a 7 or 8 at least, yet under the canopy of big trees and amidst the lush rain forest density of the understory, one walks into a place made expectant by life, unlike the late February drenched gloom which drowns everything inside one and offers nothing. The dogs, frantic with scent, run back and forth noses down, and then coming upright on the crest of the trail, backs straight, ears pricked, look down into the greenery as if a squirrel or deer or maybe, please god, elk will emerge and offer them the relief of a chase. The sensation of green is so heavy that I can imagine how it feels to swim in the kelp beds off the northern California coast; only here in the real it is Maiden-Hair and Christmas Ferns and moss as bright-green as Irish fields and Mountain Laurel and Spice Bush and a bursting three dimensional mass. Today, shimmering high up and calling back and forth from the northeast and south comes the song of the Wood Thrush, again and again and again, maybe the most beautiful and heartbreaking of all the songbird calls, the purest sound of the tiny patches of wild we have left alone.

© Mike Wall

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