Deborah Henson-Conant

Telling stories with music at HipHarp.com

Outside my studio window there’s a slope of wild shrubs and grasses – and in the middle of it, there’s a peach tree.  Once a year it blooms for about a week.  That week is happening now.

I caught this branch just before twilight a couple nights ago.

It’s a beautiful tree and one of my favorite parts about its yearly performance is watching the watchers.  Enjoying the reaction of the audience.

It comes just after a long dark corridor on the bike path, with a chain link fence on one side and brown, shaded slopes on the other, sticks and leaves lying quiet after the recent snow.  Suddenly the path opens – and there’s the tree which sits angled out from the slope, as though it were reaching into the path from above it.

Nature performs to a willing audience outside my studio window Click To Tweet

All day I see people seeing the tree, pointing to it, telling children in strollers “Look!  Look at the beautiful tree. See the tree?” – or the equivalent in different languages – and rolling the stroller beneath it. (I remember my mother pointing out shooting stars, newborn calves, waterfalls – with the same voice of wonder.  I remember the sense that she found it marvelous  – and I became the willing audience for her marvel, along for the ride of her wonder.)

Friends and lovers pull each other close and point, saying breathlessly “Oh! Look!” sensing a tiny marvel, feeling they were singled out to see it together. (I remember once with a lover turning a corner to see a tiny rainbow that seemed to hang above a lake, and sensed it was a message, though I never figured out how to untangle its meaning.)

I could see these moments hundreds of times a day, just by looking out my window. An audience to the audience, feeling their wonder as if they tossed it to me on a faint breeze.

This is Cathy. When I started this post I ran outside to see if anyone was there – someone almost always is – and asked if I could get a picture of her getting a picture.

What marvelous performances there are … all around. And what appreciative audiences. How about you? What’s appearing in your neighborhood?