Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Four years later

We closed on our farm purchase 4 years ago today (the Tuesday after Memorial Day, 2009, not sure of the actual date). We drove right out to the farm with our new keys as soon as we had signed on the dotted line, and while getting out of the car, we could hear a wood thrush singing from the woods behind the house, my favorite bird song in all the world. It sang and sang that afternoon and evening. Sadly we have never heard it again, but its appearance and welcome that day will always sing in my memory and told me we needed to harbor no deep fears about this 'big leap'.

I know I have blogged about my love for, my attachment to, the wood thrush in the past, but I recently read a (new to me) poem by Mary Oliver about the rare and brief appearance of a wood thrush's song each spring in her woods. In essence her poem was about the fleeting appearance of this rare and special gift, her recognition and acceptance that seeing this bird or hearing its song daily would likely make it 'common' and no longer as beautiful as it truly is.

So I am content to not worry, not fret, not yearn (ooo - that one's hard) or strain to hear a wood thrush sing each spring, but instead, to enjoy the memory that is now incorporated into the very fabric of my DNA, each strand within each cell of my body.

My cardiologist has told me that he wishes he had the courage to tell all his patients to 'start a farm' because he is convinced all the physical work I do on our farm has actually helped to stabilize all of my various/multiple cardiac problems that are secondary to all the cancer therapy I have had. I don't want to burst his bubble (and of course he may be correct), but I have wondered if hearing that wood thrush's welcome on the day we had (at last!) begun a long-hoped-for chapter in our life was the real reason for my stabilization.

Actually I have no need to explain anything. I am just appreciating and enjoying this Spring day (even with its rain, thunder, a frightened and quivering dog, plus a tornado warning).  :)

To end this post, I close with Henry David Thoreau's words about a wood thrush:

“The (wood) thrush alone declares the immortal wealth and vigor that is in the forest. Here is a bird in whose strain the story is told…Whenever a man hears it he is young, and Nature is in her spring; whenever he hears it, it is a new world and a free country, and the gates of heaven are not shut against him.”

I do hope that my readers can hear a wood thrush singing somewhere, someday. In addition, if you have your own favorite sound that brings peace and healing plus joy to your soul and DNA, I'd love to know what it is.

Cultivate your life - you are what you grow - inch by inch, row by row,

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

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