The sky is dark quiet for a while. This morning the four planets, Mercury, Mars, Venus, and Jupiter are lining up for the kookaburra’s to have a laugh at them. Saturn apparently off on the other side of the solar system right now, so just the four today. The humans will look on in wonder, and think things astrological, but the ‘burras will be laughing mate, looking for that snake, or lizard for breakfast. Loons keep coming back in my memory, another spooky bird I encountered on lakes up North on the outer side of our planet. Loons have nothing to laugh about, they seem to want to fill up the space with sound, and leave quiet to rush back in and make you wonder whether you ever heard it. I heard it, really, was that a Loon ? ever seen one ? Nup, not like the Kookaburra that just sits there like a king on a throne, on that telegraph wire, out the front, looking not looning, looking and waiting for the early rays of the sun, to sneek past all the planets lined up, and warm up that rock over there, that rock of sandy color, darkened by leaves, on which a lizard will attempt to get warm… very soon now. So, you just know what a kookaburra is thinking, until of course it opens its mouth and just laughs about the situation, about mars lining up, pretending to be like Jupiter for a while, maybe just flirting with Venus since she’s out there early in the morning looking for love.
A long kind of enveloping smooby boom which goes right through you makes the loon, like the only sound in the place, in the cold, near the lake. So many lakes in New England, but they freeze solid hard and thick. Like that one Australia Day in January a few years back, after playing cricket in the snow in Franklin, we drove up to a lake where we could walk out. Out on the lake and it was clear and icepick hard as a wrock, with no Loons, but the same boomy sound where the ice would crack as it warmed up for the day. And those cracks would rocket through the ice at the speed of sound and shoot right under your feet in an instant. But those cracks just created wonder and awe in a clear sheet looking right down into the lake below. How slowly and carefully that ice must have frozen, to be so devoid of white, to be so clear and blue looking down into the depths below – frozen in time too, the fish, little guys stuck in the ice – like small things, all color and silver, but not moving – not swimming – just frozen. Still the boomy sound went on heralding in air the crack in the ice below, as it warmed. No one was out there, only us aussies, who had never seen anything like that before. So real and cold and hard and soundy. Something you could touch and skate on and look through, like a looking glazz into the cold watery lake world below.
So much of the world is a sound escape, where you can go and hear a laugh, or a boom, or a smooby tune for a swooning loon.