Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I heard the geese...

I heard the geese this morning. Through the din of the passing cars outside my office window and in spite of the clacking of the keyboard at my fingertips, their cackling and honking was unmistakable and reminded me of the passing of the seasons. I have always found the sound to be a primal one…a reminder that time and nature inexorably move and change, perhaps so subtly that we would miss it entirely were it not for the harbingers of those planetary adjustments. Our early ancestors were much more in tune with those changes, and the massing of the migratory hordes served as a reminder that changes need to be made and routines shifted.

Do we pay attention to those signs? Have our sterilized and air-conditioned lives become so anesthetized to those subtle nuances around us that we miss what is deep and primal within us? I used to measure the seasons by the calendar on the wall and by the holidays it highlights. Memorial Day was the start of summer, and Labor Day marked its end. Christmas was in the dead of winter, perhaps a bright spot in the darkness of the long nights and short days.

I now listen to the geese. When I hear the gaggles gather into the large flocks, preparing for their long journey, I know the cold weather will soon be upon us. It is also in the turning of the leaves, the crackle underfoot as I walk through wooded paths that I know that the sun will be shifting its place in the sky…and the nights will lengthen. I like that primal feeling. It also reminds me of so many other feelings and sensations of which as a human am capable. True, we strive for lofty ideals and look for the higher callings for our lives…but we should never lose sight of where we came. It is in those primal feelings we maintain our contact with the nature around us, and we can hold on to whatever shred of connection we have to the creatures around us, for they can tell us much.

I hear the geese and I know some are leaving. I also know they will be back, and I will look forward to hearing them in the Springtime, for that is a harbinger of warmer weather.

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