It was clear the bugler abandoned the horn after the first few months of band. Our neighbor boy of 12 years or so walked into his front yard and bleated out a warbly version of Taps. It sliced through the din of traffic noise, riding lawn mowers and the roar of airplanes with commanding clarity, reorienting the nature of the Friday afternoon air. The song wavered between octaves and was missing entire portions, but after playing it three times, there was no mistaking that this boy had a message to transmit.
I stopped pulling weeds and listened. Over and over the notes pushed higher above the neighborhood, across the forsythia hedge and deep into the garden. It was odd to hear and I felt the pain of the call and thought I understood. These are times of anguish for the world, our country, times filled with human misery and sadness everywhere. Most of us live through it, waiting or working for better times. Others choose to depart life on their own terms, desperately, shockingly, most recently Kate Spade and now, Anthony Bourdain.
It is reassuring to me that there are kindred spirits out there beyond the confines of my safe greenery, brave little souls whose hearts feel so much that they must grab a trumpet, run out into the sun and explode their hot breath into it. No, this world does not make sense. Things are not well. God does not feel nigh. Find a trumpet and blow.