I did have them stop digging like I had to just listen to some rare music, even just a verse or two. I didn't need to go find this bird. Hearing it's haunting and even magical music was plenty for me. Those few notes took me right back to some place I've been before. To hear it again for real, not just in my memory, was joyful, a blissful experience. :)
Here are the ending verses of one of Mary Oliver's poems in which she speaks of a wood thrush:
'Such Singing in the Wild Branches'
Such soft and solemn and perfect music doesn't last
for more than a few moments.
It's one of those magical places wise people
like to talk about.
One of the things they say about it, that is true,
is that, once you've been there,
you're there forever.
Listen, everyone has a chance.
Is it spring, is it morning?
Are there trees near you,
and does your own soul need comforting?
Quick, then - open the door and fly on your heavy feet; the song
may already be drifting away.
The wood thrush population has significantly declined over the past several decades. So yes, indeed its song may already be drifting away. I hope you get a chance to hear it someday (soon). If you have, if you have really heard it, if you have dropped what you are doing or thinking about to really listen, you will never need a tape or an 'app' to hear it again to fix it in your memory. You will just know it. It has become a part of you, and you will hope (long, even ache) to hear it again like I do.
Here is its song again: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Wood_Thrush/id
I really hope the tomatoes we got planted today (many more to be done asap) are not stunted by the hard night they are going to have. If so, I will simply think of each of them as my "2013 wood thrush tomatoes" and appreciate each one even more.
Cultivate your life - you are what you grow - inch by inch, row by row,
Diana Dyer, MS, RD