After several days of rain, blue sky was the theme,
fostering a sunshiny afternoon, I was on my way
to the mailbox when their flight songs pleasingly
reached my ears. Sounds that have captivated me
since childhood, the encouraging yet plaintive
heavenly honking incantations of Canada Geese in
their massive vee formations, and at once I began to
smile like a kid on Christmas morn.
When I cleared the large evergreen trees along
the drive that first clear sight took my breath away,
there were hundreds of them, three huge flocks in
tight formations calling to one another headed in an
Easterly direction, at an altitude of perhaps 1000 feet,
probably going to the recently harvested hay and
wheat fields in the valley to set down for rest and
nourishment on their long winter migration South.
I watched until they became but tiny blackish
dots in an azure sky. Then louder honking and
another huge flock crossed right above me, lower,
closer, their nearness and songs turned my smile
to spontaneous unabashed childlike laughter. . .
If I could still jump up and down, I might have.
Once again, I was that seven-year-old boy laying
in my bed listening to the migratory highflyers
passing over my home. Wishing I too had such
freedom gained from the flight of powerful wings.
When I was 14 friends took my dad and me goose
hunting in Northern California. I had hunted pheasants
a time or two with some success. My first shots that day
killed two geese. When I got to them, picking one up into
my arms, I was overtaken by emotions of regret and began
to cry. That was over 64 years ago, I have never hunted
birds again. I prefer to hear and watch them not **** them.
Now if I and or my family were starving that would be a
very different matter.
Yes, you are right, there goes that blithering old fool again!
Writing about Geese and old memories only he cares to relive.
But that is what old folks do. And it shames me not one bit.