The night is crisp and clear.
The full moon shines brightly.
Rusty and Pepper are busy
sniffing scents left by recent passersby
on the doggie highway.
I am thinking the night air
is beginning to have a bit of a bite to it.
A faint Honk! Honk! catches my ear.
As I look skyward, a flock of geese,
V-ing southward, are silhouetted
against the full moon -
Again their honking reaches my ear.
This sound of migrating geese
resonates to my very bones,
awakening deep within my soul
some prehistoric feeling
of yearning, burning to join them
in their flight to comfort.
Their rush southward presages
the coming of winter.
These harbingers of frozen misery
are once again,
as repeated thousands of times before,
abandoning humans to their chilly fate.
Over past millennia -
before centrally heated buildings,
before sealed and heated transportation,
before lightweight, moisture-proof clothing -
how Man must have looked with enormous envy
upon the geese’s escape
from months of freezing weather,
from months spent huddled closely around
a little-warming, small-comforting fire,
weighted down in thick coats of hide,
cursing the penetrating cold,
praying to survive until
the warmth’s return in spring.
That flame of envy,
its roots now little recalled,
flickers yet within modern Man
to be ignited into blaze
by the haunting call of the geese overhead.
Fly strong. Fly fast. Fly safe.
Fly to a warmer place.
Know well Man shall be eagerly
awaiting your return north,
when you will be riding
the crest of warm weather and
the return of beauty to the barren earth.
Then his ancient sadness at your present migration
shall be replaced by hope and joy,
evoked once again upon hearing
the call of the geese....