Early Autumn 2008, Wheaton Island, ME

"Assume there is a greater force working for good; behave yourself and never mind the rest." Beatrix Potter

"Like music and art, love of nature is a common language that transcends political or social boundaries." Jimmy Carter

"In the realm of ideas, everything depends on enthusiasm… In the real world, everything depends on perseverance." Goethe

The days shorten. The light is pure and the sun's glow is warm. This summer I've been watching a family of Bohemian Waxwings outside my bedroom window. The mother built the nest, laid the eggs and cared for her fledglings. The Bohemian Waxwing is a still observer, often basking in the late afternoon sun, high up within the skeletons of dead spruce. They dart and glide and call to one another across the island with their high-pitch whistle of a voice. They are social and don't seem to mind my meager attempts toward interaction. For the two weeks from hatching to flight, I got to witness the fledglings' rapid growth. Within the single morning that their voices developed, they took flight. That night the island was hit by Hurricane Hana, it's trees swayed and thrashed from the high winds and rain. The next morning, the hawks arrived during their annual migration, swooping actively for prey. Although simply equipped with a bird-brain, they knew the time was crucial for their emancipation. Life depended upon it.

The tides rise and fall. Storm squalls come and go. Birds communicate and migrate. Lobsters shed and run. The stars blaze a luminous carpet. The underbrush begins to lie down, resigning itself to autumn.

Alan Hovhaness, 12 Armenian Folksongs for Piano
Alan Hovhaness, Visionary Landscapes for Piano
Lou Harrison, La Koro Sutro