The spruce stood tall, a shadowed cone against the cold and dawning morn, a giant sentinel overlooking the crossroads along my route to work. The bus rocked like a ship in rough seas as it rattled into the intersection, fatigued metal complaining, whirring heater blasting air like a blow-dryer, but as we passed the ancient spruce, above the din, I heard music.
From atop the spruce’s coal-dark spire, the first robin of spring, eyes wide and heart in dire earnest, sang his unmistakable song of spring. To him, it was a song of warning–This is MY tree, mofos, MY tree, ALL mine–but to me his music painted a future of lengthening days and budding groves. In his song I heard the buzz of bees amongst the blossoms, and could smell the green, green scent of new-mown grass.
I continued onward to work, departed my bus at the station and walked through the freezing city where the sun’s first rays lanced in to melt the frost from a thousand glittering windows. Around me was the bleak, chaotic noise of urban life, the only music the beeping of a dump truck set to the percussive beat of early morning construction, but that robin’s song, so high and confident, so filled with simple promise, echoed in my mind.
I hear it still.