03.22.16 It’s been noisy in our neighborhood with the return of the nesting geese. There is a big gaggle that gathers down at Hamm’s old place south of us, and the pair who nest right next to the highway, at Johnson’s pond, took up residence some weeks ago. We like to think these guys guarding our house, on the 45 feet high chimney, are that same pair. They are always here in the early Spring, honking to the group down at Hamm’s, and other formations that fly overhead. We’ve heard the Tundra Swans for some time now, but finally had a flock fly over our heads when we were out running. Such a delicate, high-pitched plaintive call they have, in comparison to the coarse honk of the Canada geese. The robins are now in our own woods, with their wide variety of songs. I’ve spotted a number of bird’s nests, visible in the leafless trees, and look forward to watching what might develop there, in the weeks to come.
We fly away to California and Hawaii tomorrow, and I suspect things will look exactly the same upon our return in a few weeks. Spring is so S L O W to arrive. It’s been back below freezing again and I’m covering myself with yet another layer of wool blankets when I sit to read or watch TV. This time of year, I feel like my bones just can’t warm up from winter. So, lucky me, off to Hawaii. When I first moved here to the north country that late Fall, and was lonely and homesick, I used to lull myself to sleep in the middle of the night by going to my “happy place,” imagining how it feels to sink into warm sand, with rustling palm branches catching the trade winds, making it exactly the right temperature. I couldn’t sleep last night, suffering from my usual pre-trip anxiety, and channeling Anne Morrow Lindbergh, when she describes it as:
“Is there anything as horrible as starting on a trip? Once you’re off, that’s all right, but the last moments are earthquake and convulsion, and the feeling that you are a snail being pulled off your rock.”
As I lay awake in the cold and dark, looking out to the moonlight to keep me safe and warm, I finally went back to sleep, not by imagining the ocean and the sand, but by remembering how good the cool air felt on my face that morning, after a night of rain, and how the ponderosa and the fir sounded, swaying in the woods. Yes, I am a snail being pulled off my rock. It will be all right once I leave, and Hawaii will be as grand as always. I’ll be celebrating my brother’s birthday with him; we are the same age now for six plus weeks, as we hurtle ever closer to being age 70. I never thought he’d made it back home, but my sister’s bone marrow has gifted him with another birthday, after nine months of great struggle in Denver, far away from his own rock. Yes, it will be grand. Aloha