Sunday, November 01, 2009
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.