A Loss For Words

I’m curiously at a loss for words this week, which is ironic given the theme of my latest project.  And perhaps I should save this post for Write On Wednesday, especially given the way I’m feeling right now, which is virtually inspiration-less.

But I’m sitting here at my dining room table, the window pushed open full tilt, the backyard grass dappled with shadows from the red maple tree, the one I’ll never cut down no matter how dangerously close to the house it grows, and I hear the cicadas for the first time this summer.  I usually connect them with really hot weather, that murderous, relentless heat which sometimes comes late in July and August, the kind of weather that always surprises Michiganders, offends us I think, since we’re used to the general temperance of this state’s climate in summer.  But they’re out there singing already, or whatever it is cicadas do, that incessant buzz which crescendos to a fever pitch before it stops, suddently, as if someone has clamped a lid on it. 

 I sit, and stare, chin propped on my hand, and let the sound of cicadas wash over me.  I watch a butterfly flit merrily to and fro in the tall grass of the orchard, and notice a friend join him as they swoop easily among the weeds.  My eyes are drawn upward, past the stand of pines whose tips are completely invisible, nearly tall enough to poke the fat bellies of those cumulus clouds stalled overhead, and out beyond the first fence toward the poplar tree, whose branches ripple like waves in the azure sky.  Their soughing reaches the house, a gentle shush of sound, whose wake sets my wind chimes in motion, their alto notes a gentle a-minor chord progression, a monkish call to worship from some early age.

I am calmed, and soothed, and eased.

So, who needs words?


14 thoughts on “A Loss For Words

  1. Sounds to me like the words you’ve used convey exactly what you were experiencing: a lovely afternoon of rest and relaxation. Thank you for drawing us into your moment…

  2. There is a time to speak and a time to listen. And listening can bring such inner peace that there are no words to express that. So, I agree completely.

  3. Beautifully written. I offer a quote by Mother Theresa:

    God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.

    (You touch souls with both your words and your reminder of silence.)

  4. If that’s a loss for words, I need some of that! Beautiful listening prose Becca. “Poking fat bellies” was so darn inspiring. I need to go outside and listen. Thanks! XXOO

  5. Usually the only time I’m at a loss for words, is when I write characters into a dungeon cell with no way out (or the equivalent). 😛

    Overall, I find that walking the dog or jogging on the treadmill is a great way to work out problems or come up with new ideas for writing. Something about that forward motion gets your mind moving forward, or maybe it’s just that you’re away from the keyboard and there aren’t too many distractions.

  6. Thank you for the word picture of your view. Beautiful! I know how you feel about your red maple. I had a crepe myrtle in the yard of my last house. It was too close to the house, but I refused to cut it down, so beautiful it was in July and August.

  7. Ah, Becca, this is such a perfect capturing of a moment in time. I’m going to keep this and take it out and read it again in the winter! It’s truly beautiful. We have to hold onto these moments! Thank you for helping all the rest of us hold onto this one.

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