A Low Heart & A Common Loon

Recently I hosted a party at my home, and the conversation and laughter that had been going full-bore came to a dead halt when we heard something we hadn’t heard in quite a long time. A common loon called from the lake across the street from my home. We silenced ourselves to be sure we heard what we thought we heard, and indeed, the loon sounded his ethereal call again, confirming his return to my town after a long winter.

The loons are back. So are the phoebes and so are the killdeer. So are the red-winged blackbirds, eastern towhees, wood thrushes and tree swallows. The trout lily and trillium are blooming, and I saw my first gray cross spider in my kitchen window last week. In May, I will be sure to see the ruby-throated hummingbird hovering above the sweet bee balm I planted last summer.

There’s something about the consistency of nature and her rhythms that make the unpredictability of life easier to take. There are so many things in one’s life beyond our control, and each day we wake up not knowing for sure what might happen. A day you thought might end sweet may turn sour. Unexpected news may squeeze your heart in a painful grip. But nature you can count on. You may wake up with a heavy heart, but that robin will still be outside your window, singing with gusto.

Photos from the top down: a common loon and her baby; a ruby-throated hummingbird drinking from a bee balm plant; cedar waxwing eggs.

Nature’s consistency may also remind us that although there are bumps in the road, life goes on. Trees are leafing out. Spring beauties are blossoming. Birds are busily building their homes as they’ve done for hundreds of summers before. Spring is moving onward no matter what. Life in all its forms moves on. And I know a heavy heart will feel sweet again.


  1. Anonymous on April 26, 2010 at 11:05 am

    We hope your heart feels better soon Meghan

  2. Anonymous on April 26, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    Nature is resilient clearly someone isn't

  3. Meghan on April 28, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    Dear Anonymous:

    Me resilient to heartache? No way! And I wouldn't want to be. That which allows to feel great pain is also what allows to feel great joy. And joy is coming my way. I can feel it!

  4. Anonymous on May 1, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Nice piece. I am right there with you. Having had an especially "sour" winter myself, I could not wait for spring this year! Recently on a twilight hike I heard something familiar…I closed my eyes, stopped dead still with my hand on my heart and a big grin on my face. It was the heavenly song of the hermit thrush making me feel pure happiness and hope for more to come.

  5. Meghan on May 1, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    Dear Anonymous,

    A thrush's song can definitely stir up some hope. Sometimes I wonder if those birds sing for us when we need it.

    I'm sorry to hear your winter wasn't so good. But I think this will be your summer : )

Leave a Comment