Everyday Epiphany, Gardening, Health, humor, Outdoors, Politics

Small Adventure In The Covid-19 Shelter In Place Zone: Listening (This post is mostly apolitical.)

“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” 


Although I value Anonymous’ sage advice, hearing more is not always wise for me. I hear misfortune murmuring, calamity calling, and trouble taunting instead of wind whistling, a branch scraping, and the boiler heating.

A whistling wind becomes a flapping shingle in need of replacing.

A scraping branch becomes a tree that will topple.

The boiler heating becomes a mouse that will infest.

“Listen thrice. Think twice. Speak once.”


I did the opposite of this quote when I heard the buzzing.

I listened once. Thought twice. Spoke thrice.

In my defense I had been planting impatiens when the buzzing invaded my gardening bubble.

It sounded like my older brother blowing raspberries when I was ten and Tony fourteen. The annoying raspberries aimed and succeeded in interrupting my viewing pleasure of “Mr. Ed.” (“A horse is a horse of course of course . . . “)

Abandoning my annuals, I perched at the side of the pond to listen and identify the sound. It must be the pond pump, I said to myself. Something’s stuck in it. Since my mechanical ability would only further impede the pump from working properly, I alerted Mike.

“The pump’s not working,” I said.

“It’s moving the water,” he responded after monitoring the waterfall.

“It’s making noise.”

“It’s not making noise now.”

“That’s the worst kind of noise for a faulty pump to have,” I countered. “One that only makes an occasional noise then quits completely. It’s like a distress flare that fades away.”

My comparison of a now silent and working pump to a distress flare blasted skyward by Titanic life raft survivors, caused a headshaking retreat from Mike. 

I resumed planting and ignored the intermittent buzzing from the wily malfunctioning pump.

“No one is as deaf as the man who will not listen.” 


Insert “Mike” for “the man” in the above quote.

While I ignored the malfunctioning water pump, Mike heard what I heard from the open kitchen window.

“Do you hear the cicadas?” he called from the window.

“It’s too early for cicadas,” I said. “It’s the pump!”

“No, I read that cicadas hatch this year.”

“Then they hatched inside the pump.” 

He understandably ignored my sarcasm. 

I continued gardening and Mike continued drinking coffee.

“The earth has music for those that will listen.”

William Shakespeare

The malfunctioning pump or chirping cicadas continued intermitantly throughout the afternoon. With an unspoken truce Mike and I with Merlot and Alberno, respectively in hand, investigated the pond area while sipping our wine. 

(During a pandemic this is considered a date.)

Following the buzzing in “Marco Polo water game” style Mike and I edged closer to the source, pausing when the sound paused and nearing when it restarted. The stop and go progress led us to the waterfall area of the pond. With scrutiny we spied a toad with inflated throat perched on a mossy flagstone. The malfunctioning pump and cicada imitator called to attract interested mates.

He was on a date as well.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Toad’s date must have gone well because tadpoles now swarm our pond’s waters.

Now if our political leaders would have listened to the experts in the health field, the United States would be better off for it. 

As Will Rogers said,

“Never miss a good chance to shut up.”

4 thoughts on “Small Adventure In The Covid-19 Shelter In Place Zone: Listening (This post is mostly apolitical.)”

  1. Great blog! So well written! So entertaining! Anita- you are always coming up with great writing ideas. Keep ‘me coming!


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