Sunday, November 21, 2010

Geese Overhead

Behind a curtain of fog, the cries of geese on the wing, like small dogs barking in the distance, broke the silence of the new day. I strained to see them breaking through the gray, but their cries became distant, and then the air was quiet once more. I hadn't seen any yet this season, and it doesn't seem like Fall until you've had at least a glimpse of geese overhead.

Had they come a little later, when the fog had lifted, they would have looked down on these beautiful wooded rolling hills. If they'd seen our clearing, they might have noticed me tidying away the last remnants of summer from my flowerbed. Dried remains of Lantana and Salvia put up a battle, their roots tenaciously clinging to the soil. When the fight was won, the geese were far away. 

I set about sowing wheat in 3 large flowerpots in front of the house, which seems to be a hopeful thing, all those little sprouts of green coming up in the winter. I planted it thickly, remembering my father's flat top when I was a little girl, on which our pet parakeet liked to walk. I wondered if the frog I watched in the summer was nestled down somewhere under the blanket of soil, and, if so, what he would think when the roots of winter wheat started reaching around him. I was outside more than usual and heard the geese several times overhead but never saw them. 

It was late when Barley and I walked down the driveway. The full moon passed in and out of scudding clouds, and we heard those small barks again, this time closer and more distinct. Barley lifted his head, and then I saw them, their dark figures forming a large V that swept across the moonlit sky. I heard them again in the night as Don and I laid in bed, and I saw them in my dreams, flying strong and sure through the clouds over the moon in the night sky. And it was Fall.