birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Sound of Music

Lake Michigan is like the sound of music in late spring when the nights are becoming warmer and the second home crowd has yet to arrive. Sitting on the deck with a gentle breeze one first hears the rustling of the leaves on the neighbor’s tree. The crickets make their entrance, as the chorus, rubbing their wings together. The lake ever so gentle hits the shore becoming the percussion to nature’s song. On occasion a car passes by the front of the house, the sound of rolling tires on the pavement do not disturb the music which is playing. 

There is the occasional summer night when the lake is perfectly still causing the chorus to go completely silent making the quietness almost eerie. Lounging on the chaise I hear my heart beating like a drum, wondering if someone will come around the corner and scare the daylights out of me breaking the peacefulness of the night.

The lake provides a wide variety of music throughout the year. As the homes begin to open and people pour into the area it feels as if you are constantly living in surround sound. Floating up from the beach are numerous sounds like a symphony orchestra. The boats and jet skis are pounding the surf like a steady drum beat. The laughter and screams of joy from children are the trill of the flutes. All around the houses are reverberating with the presence of life inside them. Pans begin to sound like cymbals, conversations are like violins, especially when someone screeches in laughter. The cars passing by on those warm summer nights usually have their music tuned to an upbeat song. They are the bass of the orchestra as you hear that low thumping beat steadily keeping the beat as it draws closer. There are fireworks which go off occasional at the start of summer and become more intense until after Labor Day. The variety of fireworks are like a cantata. There are the loud bangs, and the quiet whistling. Some hang in the air longer than others. Some brighten the darkened skies longer than others. You hear clapping and appreciative whistling all around. On the beach at night, the singing and crackling of the bonfires are the ending to the days song.

The lake is alive with the sound of music.

When the homes are closed and we return to the quiet evenings, we realize that summer’s song is over. Fall and winter are upon us and the music is about to change. The howling winds heard from within the house, leave one amazed at the fierceness of the lake.

Like an overture the different seasons bring with it different levels of lake noise from the total quietness on a calm, warm night, to the veracious pounding of the waves in the dead of the winter. The lake never really plays the same tune, instead mother nature each season writes a beautiful new piece. Its effect is like any piece of music evoking a range of feelings. One simply needs to pause, allowing the ears to hear, the body to feel the music which mother nature is providing.


You Cannot Stay and Go at the Same Time