An Extra Twenty-Four Minutes

A few extra minutes in the morning, twenty-four. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a great way to start a day. When the traffic isn’t stuck, I arrive to work early and I’m fortunate to get a parking spot by the water instead of up the hill. My reward is time to sit on a quiet bench in the morning sun. Maybe it’s not quite quiet, with so much going on, but it’s a great spot to welcome the day before the heat comes bursting out completely. 

Bikes roll by, the breeze blows, the fountain in the middle of the lake throws a stream of water thirty feet into the air like a geyser at Yosemite. This water makes white noise.

There’s a trombonist practicing on a bench like mine across the lake. I love this. Every morning the wind players are outside practicing! Today, someone is diligently playing an etude of long notes…Blaaaaagh, bloooooough, blooouu. Blaaaaagh, bloooooough, blooouuu. To reward himself, he occaionally bursts out of his work and plays the heroic bit from Die Walkure. Yump de de da da, Yump de de da da, Yump de de dahhhhh…

(Then he goes back to the long hummm, hommm, whooo, notes again.)

Today, the trombonist is calmly accepting the trumpet on the third bench who is practicing a baroque concerto cadenza at the same time. All these musical notes are mixing together as I scribble written notes myself on the first bench. And, truly, it doesn’t sound bad!

Meanwhile, the birds are crankily conversing under the tree behind me. They’re squawking for some snacks. Now, add to this, a small plane buzzing overhead and there’s a lot going on. Yet, somehow it still feels like a quiet, soft place on a bright warm morning.

Anne Marie Scotto is a writer living in Ohio.

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