As a child, I used to keep frogs as pets. We would collect tadpoles, and marvel at their transformation into frogs. (The tails absorb into the frogs' bodies!) I fed my frogs with bugs that I collected in my father's immense woodpiles. And, usually, the frogs would escape and we would end up chasing them around the living room.
When I worked at the Glimmerglass Opera in rural upstate New York, my friend Ellen told me about her friend who owned a local plant nursery. He kept track of the seasons, and had a record of the date that the spring peepers started singing every year. I was always in awe of his connection with the beautiful part of the country that he called home.
Robb and I moved around so much over the years that we often didn't get to know a place well enough to appreciate the subtleties of the the passing of the seasons.
Right now, I'm working in an amazing studio in a truly rough part of West Oakland. Our studio is next to the freight train yards, under the legs of the freeway. People regularly abandon the contents of entire apartments on the side of the road, and we often come to work and see the burned pavement and broken glass where someone has torched a car.
We don't see a lot of spring wildflowers, where I work.
It has been raining like crazy this week, and for whatever reason, there's been a break in the rain just as I'm leaving work at 7pm. And each night, I've stopped and listened because there has been a unmistakable chorus of frogs singing.
It was remarkable to hear something so lovely in such an unlikely place.