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if i listen really hard

I reach out and touch the metal frame on the door. It's cold and I pull my hand back. A branch brushing against the window makes a squeaky sound. Winter sounds, you could call them. The winter wind howls. Night shadows seem darker. The leafless trees are almost grotesque when they bend slightly in the wind, their shapes scary. Ice-coated leaves crunch beneath your feet and shallow ice-filled puddles crackle.

spring by martine jacobs
by Martine Jacobs

Falling snow masks the streetlight and softens winter. The daytime sun, icy clear, tries to melt the snow and ice. For a moment, its warmth makes you long for spring. Makes the memories of past springs seem nearer. A fire glows, warming the winter room, crackling and comforting. Winter sounds.

The wind lessens. The ice melts. It is still winter but softer. I touch the door again. The metal frame is cool now. I can almost feel the earth tilt in readiness. The sun warms the earth, moving the sleeping creatures waiting below. The softening, cleansing snow of winter now flows to the street.

An early spring rain lashes the house, greening the lawns. Children in rubber boots splash through once ice-frozen puddles. Spring sounds — a wind that sighs — the spring sun melting ice that drips from the gutters. Some of the first signs of spring — birds returning, dogs shedding their winter coats.

I touch the door again. The metal frame is warm now. And if I listen real hard, I can hear the buds growing, the earth cracking open as snow covered crocuses push their way up. And if I listen real hard, I can hear the spring sounds as they whisper, softly calling out my name as the earth gives birth to another spring.

© 2003, All Rights Reserved

Regina Phelps is a regular contributor to Moondance Columns. She started writing seriously in the twilight of her life. She loves it with a passion and wishes she had started earlier. She has been published in small presses such as The Fiction Primer, Happy, Satire, Dogwood Tales, and others. Recently she gave a second fiction reading in Manhattan. She lives on Long Island, NY, and is a wife to a lobsterman, a mother of two and a grandmother of four. She has just finished her first novel and is working on another.

Regina can be reached at:

Living Well With Birds | If I Listen Really Hard
Pushkin's Secrets | The Subtle Ways We Avoid the Truth
The Goddess Within: Investing Time and Energy to Nurture Her

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