A Summer Symphony by Colista Morgan

The Greenwood Historical Society has received a limited number of copies of Colista Morgan’s Pond Reflections. First published in 1988, the book is composed of a selection of 52 of Colista’s columns for the Bethel Citizen. The sample essay below, “A Summer Symphony,” written in summer of 1969, shows the gentle beauty of Colista’s writing and the perceptive, contemplative eye with which she observed her world.

Colista Morgan coverIt’s early dawn, the nearest thing to perfection that there is, and there is already music in my garden. As I lie scarcely awake I hear the twittering of bird songs, so soft and sweet as they utter their first sleepy calls.

The flute-like voice of the thrush trills through the air. Then another from his mate in melodious tones floats back. What a beautiful duet at dawn! None can equal it. Its singing has been compared to the “theme with variations” of the classical composers. There is indeed an air of classical serenity about him as he sits motionless and sings on and on. I’m glad this fellow in his chestnut brown suit chose to live here.

As I walk to my garden, the first ray of the sun is playing on the pond. It’s early but so refreshing.

When I start down the steps my chickadees, ma and pa, now with a family raised in my bird house, greet me asking for a handout.

Robins hop about cocking their heads and listening for their breakfast.

Back among the blue bells of the columbines I hear a soft humming sound and I know that Ruby Throat is here. He is keeping watch for the red flowers, his favorite Bee Balm, to unfold its brilliance. This incredible dynamo’s flying capacities are astonishing. Like a helicopter, it can hover in front of a blossom and drink its nectar, flying forward or backward with equal ease.

Birds are worth to you the pleasure they give and surprises come to us around home as readily as they do in far away places.

I had a delightful surprise this week; a house wren came to see me. In all my years in town I had never seen one until now–here. I was so sure he had chosen an old bird house out back–that house so long ago mounted on a pole. I was afraid for him for I believed a breath would blow the thing away. Nothing had ever nested in it. For days he brought sticks and straws and I was sure all would collapse, but it stood; only now no wrens. I presume wren-like, when arriving in new territory, it fills every hole and cavity in that neighborhood with twigs, so that there will be a good selection of reserved sites. It may take one bird house and fill up two others to keep out undesirables. Then, too, the male is often a bigamist and supports two separate households and feeds two families, which is not easy. Nervous? Worried? No wonder there was an air of bustling.

Anyway he was fun to watch and may yet return. He is around for I hear his bubbling and now and then get a glimpse of him. I shall keep watch.

So I worked and listened alone, with birds in full chorus.

Now I have finished my visit to the garden. I wonder as I turn away: do all birds furnish the music for the lovely flowers or do the flowers decorate the theater for these concert artists? Either way fragrant blossoms and a symphony make a wonderful dawn, alone with creation. No stage could be more lovely for the beginning of a new day.

To purchase a copy of Pond Reflections, please contact the Greenwood Historical Society.

Posted in Uncategorized.