Last night the frogs in my pond woke up.
We had just pulled into the driveway after watching my son’s second-grade performance in Pirates: The Musical. He was a Brownbeard, an awfully cute pirate, I have to add, with a skull and crossbone bandana on his head, an eye patch, and a brown construction-paper beard. We were home a bit later than I thought we would be, because the PTA sneaked in a little meeting at the beginning of the musical.
It was dark, past the bedtime of the chickens and ducks, past the time when, my imagination assumed, a raccoon had slipped in through the open door to the chicken run and had climbed up into the coop to terrorize and murder my trapped animals.
I was anxious as we drove the half-mile down the road leading to our house. I think I was cranky and snapped at someone as we pulled into the driveway. I turned down the car stereo. I opened my door as soon as the car stopped and immediately started for the coop to see if everyone was OK.
But then I stopped. Because I heard the frogs.
Just last week our pond was still a little frozen. The ducks would waddle down to the pond in the morning, step out onto the thin ice, and then loudly voice their complaint at the inaccessible water.
But this week, it’s felt like spring. The pond melted. Crocuses bloomed.
I managed to sneak out of my house and onto my dock to journal twice: One time, my journal somehow landed in the water.
I had to don my husband’s waders and walk out into the water to retrieve the journal, but when the pages dried they stuck together, and my words were blurred and smeared and mostly illegible.
Yesterday, I sat on the dock with a tight grip on a new journal.
And then last night, the frogs woke up.
I forgot about my chickens and ducks for a moment (who were safely tucked away for the night, by the way) and walked out to the pond quietly, because sometimes the frogs are a little shy when they know someone is listening.
I stood in the dark, stock-still, and listened.
I heard the distinct croaking of my newly awakened frogs, yes.
But I didn’t just hear the frogs.
I heard the hopeful promise of bright sunshine
I heard hope.
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