Friday, March 6, 2009


This is a shot of crow tracks on the driveway, up against the neighbor’s dog prints. A small gang of three crows visits on a regular basis but we’ve escaped, so far, “a crow problem.” Apparently they can become quite troublesome if they invade the area, but these three just stop by, scavenge some road kill, have a raucous conversation, then take off. They’re gigantic and black as olives and I’m very fond of them.

Saw a pair of cardinals in the yard the other day, too. Male and female. Smaller than usual, but flashing in and out of the bare trees and giving the almost monochromatic landscape (snow, snow, don’t forget the clouds, snow) a dash of color. A welcome sign of spring.

And: this morning, the first long lines of geese high in the sky. These weren’t the local geese; these were the ones who head south for the winter (coward geese) and now, mercifully, return. There were three long strands of them; looked like a pitchfork in the clouds, or maybe more like a trident. Have my window cracked so I can hear if any more pass by. It’s a balmy afternoon by Oswego standards (40’s), so I’m listening to the last big patches of ice and snow melt off the roof. There’s so much runoff that it sounds like it’s raining.

I’m trying, at least for this afternoon, to appreciate these sights and sounds and not worry, as much as I have been, about the job, the friends who are ill, the stacks of papers to read. Trying to remember that everything goes so fast. Like those tracks in the snow. So beautiful – perfect, really – for a few hours, then gone. John Keats, who knew a thing or two about the fleeting nature of, well, everything: “I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart’s affections and the truth of imagination.” Amen. And as I type that, I swear, I hear the call of the geese. When I look out, I see that it's the local geese. The ones who stay. The ones who give the impression, the strong impression, that some things, against all odds, endure.


  1. How thought provoking, I could see your geese in my mind's eye and wonder if they're the same ones who flew NC just a couple of days ago. Yesterday, I saw a female robin sitting on our back fence and wondered if she knew it's only early March.
    Loved the Keats quote and I say amen as well.
    Lovely post.

  2. Cardinals don't migrate unless they have signed the coconut free trade agreement.

  3. Cardinals must wear winter coats then... or, at least, migrate away from my road... OR maybe that's what I hear scratching inside the walls all winter long.

  4. i love this little piece of hope. it's nice to have something beautiful to hold on to, something that endures, when all else is slipping from our fingers. Writing has always been that something i hold onto.

  5. They arent coward geese... they are just finicky.

    And from now on I am not going to look out the window, just watch the change of seasons from your blog.