Spring is bursting out in northern California, with bright green tender new shoots everywhere, delicate flowery budding trees, and neon yellow wild mustard growing in between all the vineyard rows. Although it is a spectacle of joy and beauty in the daytime, I have been especially drawn to a special springtime sound at night. There is a pond at the bottom of the mountain I live on, about a half mile away. This sound is so loud at night that even with double-pane windows shut, you can hear the cacophony right through the windows.
It is the mating voice of a frog, so tiny, about the size of a half dollar: the Pacific Tree Frog. It’s other name, the Chorus Frog, is more emblematic of its existence. All the males get together at this pond every night and in a deafening chorus, a thousand ribbits vibrating at once, they sing their song. I sit at the window in the dark and listen to their song. They sing of love and life and hope. Sometimes the chorus stops suddenly, then it starts up again, swells into magnificence. When I wake up in the morning and open the window, wondering if they are still singing, there are no frog sounds (but there is still a lively song of many species of birds).
Lately I have found myself going to the window several times in the night just to hear their hopeful concert. It brings me solace when I cannot sleep. These lively little creatures sing to me that there are songs of hope and peace wherever we go, we just have to be available to hear them.