Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Love Notes

I heard a whipporwill crying out this evening as I milked Coco. The plaintive song conjures up a feeling inside me of longing for something I can't even begin to understand. When I was a girl in Oklahoma I would set up a cot on the front porch in early summertime so I could listen to the song of the whipporwill. Even then it made me hungry for something I could not identify.

Many years passed without hearing my favorite bird. A plain bird. Not much to look out.

I don't think I would recognize it if someone were to bring me one in a cage.

Last year I prayed to God and told him that I would truly appreciate a love note from him in the form of a whipporwill. When we moved here I heard one. But not again. For a long time.

When I heard the song a night later I wept.

About three or four weeks ago, I am not sure when, I heard it again. I felt hugged.

Three or four times this year I have been outside at the right time to receive my love note.

I didn't want to milk tonight.

We butchered around 60 chickens today. Started early. Worked hard. The kids did an amazing job. The Depret-G's were here to help as per their wonderful usual. No injuries. No stitches needed. We even got things cleaned up, chickens wrapped up, and showers taken in time for the ladies Tues. night Bible study. Coco mooed to me as I said farewell to the ladies, telling me I was an hour late.

"Ughhh. Could you please milk yourself, Coco?"

I looked up at the faint streaks of lightning flickering miles down the valley. The growing moon glowed. The fireflies sparkled in the treetops.

Mechanically I walked into the house, washed the milking bowl and headed out to call for Coco.

As we settled in to our routine I heard it. My love note. The precious song of the whipporwill. I felt like God was giving me a big pat on the back, letting me know that he recognized all our hard work and was pleased. Streaming creamy milk, smell of crushed chamomile as we milked in the grass tonight, sight of Rose and Maggie catching fireflies and putting them in jars made the exhaustion not so painful.

"Whipppp--o-willl! Whiiip-ooo-willlll!"


Anonymous said...

I do so miss the song of the whipporwill. Remember how we knew that summer was on us when we heard it for the first time? I am so glad that you have them. It is beautiful sounds of glory to God. There is a mockingbird singing his heart out to God right now outside the house. I am convinced that the birds talk to God a lot.

CountryDew said...

I love those sounds, too. I haven't heard them in a long time, either. Glad to know they're still around.

Debi Kelly Van Cleave said...

I love those summer sounds. We often sit on the front porch in the evening and hear a whipporwill. We also have a resident mocking bird around. I'd like to hear an owl. That reminds me of childhood, running around barefoot in the dark in my Nana's backyard and an owl hooting. Back then it scared me, being a city kid. And look at me now. Kind of used to wildlife. Just rescued a black snake from between the glass and screen door. And I love the bats that come out in the evening and dive bomb over our pool and swoop past us. Talk about entertainment...

As usual, your description of your life there is beautiful.


Beth said...

Beautiful writing, Ginger. I, too, love the melancholy call of the whipporwill, but haven't heard one in years. How wonderful that God sent you that love note.

gingerhillery@mac.com said...

Hi Mom, Anita, Debi and Beth! I wonder if all the rain we have had this year is making a more inviting environment for the birds? Also, we are leaving some areas of the farm unmown and leaving the fencerows to grow up a bit to give them a place to hide. It gives me great hope to know that we haven't totally eradicated them. Such great entertainment!

Jeff said...

I had a fair number of whip-poor-wills when I first bought my property but haven't seen any for awhile. They used to circle the opening in the woods at dusk, swooping to catch bugs. I'd see them in the woods but I haven't seen any lately. I think it has to do more with the changes in the ecology as I restored the woods than anything else. I don't see many dragonflies after mosquitoes, either. They do have a lovely call for such a homely bird, don't they?