The Orchard, the Canary, the Guitar, and the Zephyr
By Duane Hewitt
Copyright 2016 Duane Hewitt. All Rights Reserved.
Each morning, The Canary would look out from the second floor window and dream as she gazed into the beautiful orchard. The orchard was something spectacular to the little bird and she looked forward to seeing it every day; so much so that it occupied her thoughts when she slept at night. Visions and dreamscapes of the orchard cascaded through her mind. With each change back to a new growing season, when the crisp icy-gray cold of winter warmed and spring sprang forth, she knew that the renewal of life was just around the corner for the orchard.
The orchard was everything to the little bird. It was in the back of the two-storey house where she sat perched in her pleasant cage on the second floor. The orchard was full of every kind of fruit. There were bitter apples and sweet apples, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, and even peaches and pears. Off to the side there was rhubarb, too, and flowers grew throughout every part of the season, keeping the whole garden rich with color and sweet, delicate aromas. A small old shed that represented the faded memory of times gone by had the most incredible vines covering it, providing an added dimension of the regality of peace and longevity. The timeless statue of a white cupid that used to be a water sprout now had aged-old stains of green moss. Far off to the rear, there was the sound of a little creek that ran effortlessly far down where the orchard merged with the tip of a forest. Two big turtles, cast out of concrete and repainted green every second or third year, continued their non-ending trek through the tall grass not far from the rhubarb. The Canary once saw a little white mouse poke its head out from underneath the larger of the two, and she couldn’t help but think you don’t belong here, where did you come from? Other times, she had seen deer mice scampering back and forth, sampling whatever the garden had to offer – and there was also an industrious little chipmunk that was always filling its cheeks each new growing season.
Birds flew and sang and nested. Crickets made their music, too. And somewhere off in the distance were the sounds of frogs, chirping away. When the season was most alive, mayflies and dragonflies flew as if in dance, and many other sounds of buzzing and flying things filled the air. Butterflies came and went, continually gracing the garden with their beauty and delicate nature. And for some reason, it was never overly hot in the orchard. Something about this little oasis of nature remained protected from the harshness of the weather. Whether it was a bright hot day, or one that carried gusts of wind in a heavy rain, everything about the orchard was always, somehow, just perfect.
And oh! – The blue sky and billowy white clouds were just perfect… there was no place one could not sit and observe all the activity of the orchard under the most beautiful of skies. On the most pleasant of summer days, especially in the early part of summer, like now, there was a rich splendor, a regal elegance to the flawlessness of the cobalt blue above and the many shades of green below.
The Canary watched the direction of the shadows in the garden change subtly. The Canary did not wear a watch or she would have known that it was just minutes after one in the afternoon. But she did not need a watch to know what time it was, and in a moment more she heard something she had come to look forward to with each new day. Somewhere, far below and unseen, on the most flawless of summer days in the beautiful orchard, someone beneath The Canary’s window, out of sight and hidden in the cool shadow of the house, had started to play a guitar in the cool pleasant afternoons. It was an acoustic guitar with a sweet, mellow tone, and to The Canary the sounds were like all that was perfect in nature and the orchard.
The music began, just as it had for many days before. The Canary tried to peer down and through the window to see its source, but it was no use from her place at the window. She found herself swaying to the gentle melody… rich, warm, soothing… it was a fraction of a melody from a Cantata by Bach, which then led to a rich medley of different 18th and 19th century masterworks and, finally, landed on the sweet gentle rolling sound of Tarrega’s Recuerdos de la Ahlambra. But The Canary would not have known any of this.
The Canary continued to sway to each new tune and then began to sing along to the haunting, captivating melodies. She closed her eyes and drifted as she continued her corresponding song. There was a time when she once spent time in the garden; a time when she could move about freely; when she had access to all that was the orchard and more. But that was a different time that seemed very long ago now. She started to fall into a light sleep, but it was almost as if the guitar sensed it had lost a precious member of its audience. Just as quickly, and just as effortlessly, the guitar began a cascading set of arpeggios, followed by delicate light harmonics that seemed to dance with the mayflies, which was then followed by more arpeggios. The Canary was electrified by the seemingly effortless repertoire of sounds – but rather than sing, she simply listened as she looked into the orchard and dreamed about the guitar.
Long after, in the late cool of the evening when the guitar had long since ceased its serenade, the little bird dozed lightly and remembered as well as it was able a time when it flew and sang freely in the orchard. But The Canary was not unhappy. She had a happy and peaceful little home where the air was clean and she received food and care with much love. Then another pleasing little thing happened. Down in the cool evening’s shade of the orchard, a warm and gentle zephyr found its way through the treetops as it moved and made its way into the bushes and between the blades of grass, where it eventually rose delicately to the second floor window of the house. There, it entered through one of three small holes at the base of the window that was there to let in the fresh air for the little bird and anyone else in the house who desired it.
The zephyr came in and found the little bird drifting to sleep. Delicately and ever so tenderly, the zephyr took it upon itself to enter the little abode of the sleepy little canary and wrap its warm loving arms around her in gentle embrace. The Canary acknowledged the soft warmth of the zephyr and let out a small fraction of a song as its thank you.
The day was done, and the simple, joyful dance of orchard, canary, guitar, and zephyr would again be played out the next day and the next, when the bright shining stars of the dark, infinite night yielded to a new day’s sun and all things returned to life once again.
Copyright 2016 Duane Hewitt. All rights reserved.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. No part of this work may be copied or transmitted by any means whatsoever without the prior written approval of the author. Duane Hewitt asserts his rights as the author to this work and its plot, themes and characters, under International Copyright and Intellectual Property Laws.