Saturday, February 20, 2010

Blue skies, baying, and bluebirds

Felt slightly Thoreauvian this a.m. during my constitutional around Lake Waban. The chickadees were cee-dee-deeing and fee-baying, the cardinals were whistling and adding a red jolt of color to match the fire hydrants on the Wellesley campus. The pond, snowy, is beginning to open up on the edges, yet the ice fisherman persist. The part that reminded me of Thoreau was the rumble of the train in the near distance, much like the train that disturbed Henry at Walden Pond. It all was lovely.

So I went home and consulted his journal for Feb. 20, 1859: "It is a warm west wind and a remarkably soft sky, like plush; perhaps a lingering moisture there. What a reve[la]tion the blue and the bright tints in the west again, after the storm and darkness! It is the opening of the windows of heaven after the flood." Later, Henry reports that a boy in Concord saw a bluebird on this day, 150 years ago.

Even better, on Jan. 20, 1855, Henry writes of something even more lovely:
"Very musical and even sweet now, like a horn, is the hounding of a foxhound heard now in some distant wood, while I stand listening in some far solitary and silent field." Music to my ears, too, Henry!