Usually when I visit the community garden, I relish the quiet hum of nature that surrounds me.
The muted sounds of faraway planes flying overhead or motorists on the distant turnpike are muffled so much that I can hear the peaceful chirps of bugs and birds and the occasional rush of wind.
No TVs are blaring. No children are disagreeing. No lawn mowers throughout the neighborhood are cranking out annoying noise.
My thoughts are complete, and I don’t have to worry about distractions such as incoming emails beeping, kitchen appliances buzzing, home phones ringing or cell phones dinging.
It’s a cherished and much needed escape from the daily clatter around me.
But yesterday, that silence was broken when my 11-year-old came with me to the garden.
“We have to pick your brother up from band in 40 minutes,” I told my son. “Make sure we leave on time.”
He did what most people in today’s world do. He pulled out his I-Pod and started pushing buttons.
“I’ll set my alarm,” he said and went back to the mini-van where a fresh breeze was blowing through the open doors. The vehicle was parked underneath a shade tree.
I began my work at the far end of the garden by plucking dried-up Marigold blooms and overgrown grass. I picked a few beans, and checked the newly-planted spinach. It’s looking good.
When I got halfway through the garden, my son re-appeared with his I-Pod.
“Mom, we have to go in 5 minutes,” he said.
I continued my work and tried to calculate how fast I should move to get to the other side of the garden in 5 minutes – maybe .75 minutes a row?
At first, my pace was calm. I thought I heard wind chimes from the next-door garden.
“Ba-bum, ba-bum-bum, ba, ba, bum; bum ba ba bum ba-bum. Bum ba ba bum ba ba ba bum; bum ba ba bum ba-bum.”
I eavesdropped on the sounds and realized the chimes were playing a rhythm. Then the swirling of violins began. As I listened, my hands moved to quickly pluck through the jalapeno peppers.
Soon I was on the next row and felt a greater need to hurry up. The chimes slowed me down again. But then the swirling started. An orchestra of intense and churning instruments pressured me once again to move along faster.
“What is that?” I stood up from my crouch.
“’Hedwig’s Theme,” my son said. He was standing outside the fence and held up his I-Pod, the source of the music, not my neighbor’s chimes.
“Who is Hedwig?” I asked.
“Harry Potter’s owl,” he answered. The music was intensifying once again.
I still had three more rows of work.
“What does the owl do?” I asked, squatting back down and continuing to pull weeds.
“He delivers messages from Harry Potter,” my son answered. “He’s trying to deliver you a message. It’s time to pick up my brother.”
Message received. I left the three rows of weeds, hoping another Green Thumb would later pick up my slack for the day.
And thanks to Hedwig, we arrived on time to pick up my older son from band practice.