|Song of Plenty
By Sonia L. Linebaugh
Summer belts out a song of plenty as though to apologize for coming and going, coming and going.
Its latest entrance is announced by a yapping dog out from the city for the season: Yap. Yap-yap-yap-yap-yap.
The message is repeated by a barking dog who lives here all year: Ruff. Ruff-ruff-ruff-ruff-ruff.
Farther up the road, a third dog joins the party: Arf-arf. Arf-arf.
I dont know what the dogs find to talk about. People here commiserate over wells and septic systems or rejoice over gardens and beach treasures when they meet. Maybe the dogs simply announce their presence.
Hey, Im back. How ya been?
Maybe they sing the exuberance of living: Yap-yap. Ruff-ruff. Arf-arf.
Downhill, a roaring riding mower competes with a weed whacker five houses away. A pair of cigarette boats thunder in duet out past Holland Point.
Im noisier than you are.
Yes, growl. Yes, growl. Yes, growl.
The boats fly on across the Bay, unrolling bass notes behind them. The mower stops and starts. Stops and starts. Stops. The weed whacker whines to a halt. One beat. Two.
A lighter refrain floats laughing into the air. Boys and girls call, squeal and splash above the shush of waves. This is their conversation: The joy of youth, the nearness of wet bodies, the liquid cool on a hot day. Splash. Shush. Squeal.
On the road in front of the house, neighbors glide slowly up the hill or down. Our words are spare like the fluted melodies of the birds who sound in the intervals.
Hey, the garden looks great.
Nice to see you. A lot of rain this year.
Under baseball caps, my husband and I squint into the glare. We inventory tomato plants. We puzzle over the disappearance of morning glory and moon flower in a garden rioting with a dozen shades of green, sharp pink of cone flowers, fading oranges of lilies and white persistence of petunias. We pull at weeds.
Softly. Softly. Pull. Tear. Snap.
Silence sits down among the daylily stalks and falls on the promise of green tomatoes. Soon, a hint of red promises. Soon you can taste. Soon.
Silence settles into the earth. It leaps into the air.
Silence swells out into eternity, drifts softly into my heart.
Its a dialogue of silence with silence.
Its the underscore of summers song of plenty.
Bravo. Bravo. Bravissimo.
Linebaugh, who reflects from Fairhaven, is Bay Weeklys former assistant editor.