The Sun King is still flying high in the sky and has not noticed that something has changed. The brilliance of his own ways often blind him, but this is the nature of the sun. Every day he and his court dance happily across the sky, and the merriment can be heard and felt all around. His subjects bask in his golden light, and who can blame them? The energy is nearly irresistible.
But down in the forest under the canopy of leaves, the drumbeat has already begun. I have been hearing the pulse for a while now. Sometimes it’s more of a feeling than a hearing, but maybe that’s because it takes place as much within as without. In walking by a tree, I wondered if it didn’t look just a bit different. Those leaves didn’t look quite so green. Or maybe it wasn’t that. They were green but they were something else, too. Or maybe it’s because the hermit thrush cannot be heard anymore. I’ve searched for him in vain. Or maybe it’s a slightly different scent to the morning air. Whatever it is, if you have to ask yourself if something has changed, then something has changed.
The signs continue beneath the canopy, unnoticed once again. But the squirrels know and have spread the news to all the other animals. The hermit thrush always listens; the deer, not so much. Yet the drums will grow louder, and soon they will all have to listen. The old oaks are smart, though, and they don’t need the warnings from the squirrels. They already have their own knowing, and they have begun to drop their acorns, which can be heard everywhere as they loudly crash to the forest floor. Woe to anyone directly beneath them. Sometimes it is like an obstacle course.
Steadily, the drums beat—at first so faintly. There is a certain rhythm to them, and this rhythm is known by those who cannot gaze directly at the sun. Every night, the beat grows a bit louder and a bit longer. Somewhere deep in the Earth, a secret meeting is taking place. Already, I can hear the hoof beats of the horses as they nervously paw the ground in anticipation.