The Sounds of Spring
by Ramona Flightner/ @ramonaflightner
It’s evening and the melodious mockingbird is serenading me. I wait eagerly every April for the mockingbird, my favorite songbird in Massachusetts, to return. He sits outside on the rooftops, singing joyfully with a repertoire of about 8 bird calls. His whimsical singing never fails to make me smile. As the warm weather returns to the Boston area, I am reminded again of all of the sounds of spring I love about my neighborhood.
A few weeks ago during another warm up, I bought the plants that I use in my container gardens. I love having fresh grown tomatoes, peppers and fresh herbs like rosemary and basil and they are easy to grow in containers in the city. Colorful, cascading petunias flowing out of rail pots brighten my deck and are real harbingers of spring and the summer to come. As I work outside planting everything I had bought, I begin to hear the sounds of my neighborhood that had lain dormant over the winter.
I hear the repetitive calls of “mama!” “mama!” “mama!,” each mama a little more shrill and a slightly higher octave. I chuckle to myself as I now know the calls come from a smart though bored parrot who is at home without its owner. I listen to the happy trilling of the next-door neighbor’s birds as they are finally able to sit outside in the warmth again. They keep me company every day when I am on my deck and their chirpings are distinctively different from those of the native birds.
Finally, I call out “hello!”, though it isn’t to anyone I know. It is to the passing ice cream truck driver, whose jingle we all know by heart. It ends with a woman’s voice yelling, “Hello!” as though that were a good way to drum up business. As I watch him pass, I realize it must have been a good day for him as he looks exhausted. I smile at my neighbor and we laugh together about how much we love our distinctive neighborhood