Drummers

Often at night, when Cassie the Corgi and I are strolling, we can hear someone in the park banging a drum. The sound is steady, fast, monotone, and it reverberates through the neighborhood: boomboomboomboomboomboom.

Since I don’t go in or even near the park after sundown, I’ve thought it was some New Age nut case drumming up the Earth Mother or resonating to herb-induced vibrations. From several blocks away, the sound is eerie and vaguely spooky.

Ah, but no! Yesterday afternoon we went over to the park shortly before sunset. It was a gorgeous evening, a near-full moon already high in the turquoise east as the sun prepared to bed down in the magenta west. And a steady thrumming called.

As we approached the grassy meadow, what we found was not one drummer but four: a drum circle! In the shade of a spreading elm, four American Indians—a man, a very gravid woman, a boy about eight, and a younger man about sixteen—sat on the ground. The older man was pounding the deep-voiced drum that rumbles through the surrounding streets. The boy played a smaller drum, and the teenager accompanied them with a pair of gourd rattles. The man was chanting, just loud enough to be heard in one corner of the park.

Wonder! What a find!

It’s why I love my neighborhood. You’d never hear that in an HOA. You’d never hear it in Sun City. In these beleaguered parts, HOA’s have taken to suing people whose homes have been foreclosed, trying to suck continuing payments out of them for vacant properties. Give me Dave’s Used Car Lot, Marina, and Weed Arboretum any day…and along with him, I’ll take the Indian drum circle, thank you.

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frugalscholar April 27, 2010 at 11:10 am

Ahhhhh, you’re getting so mellow now that your upcoming summer vacation is in sight!

Budgeting in the Fun Stuff April 27, 2010 at 6:53 pm

I love not having a HOA. My little neighborhood still looks nice and I can pick whatever color window dressings I want. :-)

funny April 27, 2010 at 7:40 pm

@ Budgeting in the Fun Stuff: Yeah, and whatever color paint you want to put on the outside. Paint manufacturers must manufacture almost nothing but brown and beige exterior.

How d’you suppose you find your way home if you’re three sheets to the wind? All those houses look alike.

ctreit April 27, 2010 at 7:46 pm

This sounds way cool. I love listening to this kind of drumming and chanting. I am glad that you also appreciate it.

funny April 27, 2010 at 7:52 pm

@ ctreit: It’s wonderful. Interestingly, no one was standing around listening, or if they were, they weren’t conspicuous. It felt like it would be intrusive to bound over and gaze admiringly at them.

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