Sunday, November 01, 2009

Lately


For a while, the pond across the road was crowded, covered, awash with geese. Some days there was hardly any water visible between their bodies, and scarcely any silence between their calls. Periodically they arose in vast numbers and winged their way over my cottage, their bodies drawing flickering black lines in the sky like writing I couldn’t read. A few hours later they would return, having filled their bellies on corn gleaned from harvested fields. Lately, though, the pond has been quiet. Cold weather has driven the geese south and now the only sounds come from the small birds that winter here – the juncos, the sparrows, a few starlings, some nuthatches, and a pair of cardinals.

The afternoon sun hangs low in the sky and where the shadows gather the air has a bite to it. The wind whistles sharply of mittens and overcoats and scarves wrapped snuggly around the neck. Oak leaves skitter and dance to this new wind’s tune, and sheets hung out to dry snap smartly. When it rains it pours, but the gray, dismal days are interspersed with blustery ones when every cloud is scoured and swept away until all that’s left is pure, clean blue.

I like best the bright blue days. The sun rests on my shoulders like a warm hand, and I seek out some secluded, wind-blocked spot where I can rest my back against a tree and watch the light dance across the water in silver slippers. It is in such moments that I sense the poetry of life, the way everything moves to a rhythm – the breeze, the daylight, the season – until my heart picks up the steady measure of the universe and beats in time.

12 comments:

steven said...

pauline - this is really beautiful writing. there are two ponds near us and the geese starting practicing their v's about six weeks ago. back and forth they flew. i tried to get photos of them but no such luck - they took a slightly different route each time, or i'd be outside and no camera. i finally accepted that i would be allowed to watch them but not get that "prize shot". the "prize shot" was in fact experienced so many times i feel now when i look back that i was given so many gifts. thanks for this lovely posting pauline!!! steven

Molly said...

Those Vs of geese honking across the sky are the most timeless sign of the approach of winter. Isn't it amazing how they know? I've often wished I had feathers, because then maybe I'd have their unerring instincts, especially in matters of raising young. Instead, I muddle along, human style, hoping I've got it right but having no confidence that I do....

Lovely writing, as usual!

Pauline said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom Bailey said...

I connected through another blog. The way that you write is just very clear and crisp. It seems obvious that you do this for a living. I like your blog.

Pauline said...

Steven, I agree - we receive lots of "gifts" every day. Much of the time we just have to take what's given and say thank you.

Molly - I've often wished the same things. Perhaps we have those instincts yet but have buried them beneath our "civilized" beliefs. What do you think?

Thanks for stopping by, Tom!

riseoutofme said...

Lovely ... Sigh ..

focusfinder said...

I thought this was so good I used the last paragraph as a dictation exercise for an IT assessment at school today. Your highly descriptive, detailed writing always goes down really well with blind children.

Pauline said...

Thanks, rise :)

B, I am delighted that your students were able to "see" because of my words. Thank you for such a gift.

Land of shimp said...

Oh Pauline, I can't help but laugh here. Your entry, as usual, was beautifully written. However, the entire time I kept thinking, "Don't forget to watch your step, they don't say 'Slick as goose poop' without good reason!"

Rather ruined the poetry of the entire thing, and eventually had me giggling helplessly at my overly practical brain!

Barbara said...

I always long for the geese and the warmth as we march forward to winter. I am comforted to know that spring is not far behind, when all will start over again.

Pauline said...

LOS - the banks of the pond are quite steep so there's no geese wandering the slopes and no slipping in goose paté :)

Barbara - the great wheel turns endlessly.

Mother of Invention said...

This is so beautifully written, it seems like a poem! I too love the clear blue sunny days and I really liked the way you worded this:

"The sun rests on my shoulders like a warm hand, and I seek out some secluded, wind-blocked spot where I can rest my back against a tree and watch the light dance across the water in silver slippers."