Perceptions of Spring – II

     The geese started it. They surprised me – I don't know why, I guess because I think of their honking as an autumn sound. It was at night when we were out with the dogs, back a month ago maybe. Walking in the quiet dark, my senses are usually stretched to the stars. But that night my ears awoke. Below my human perception was some deeper cue that the geese were obeying, and I heard it through them. The flow has reversed – life is returning to the north.
     The sounds are beginning to trickle in more quickly now, like the loosening of water from ice: the cardinal's sudden clear song piercing a February dawn outside our bedroom window; red-winged blackbirds chortling from a nearby marsh; a pileated woodpecker drumming territorial echoes across the field; the rattley trill of a migrant northern flicker. My eyes have not confirmed any of these travelers, except the cardinal. But I know without a doubt that we are in the midst of what will soon be a stampede.
     So why is all the talk on the street about how bad things are? Here's my theory: what we see is ugly, and we are a visual species. Dirty snow, mud, freezing rain, biting wind, no green only brown, overcast sky. War in Syria, no budget in Washington, saber-rattling in the Korean peninsula, scandals, blaming, victims. Sometimes it feels easier to stay in the darkness, with a friend.
     What world do we choose to live in? My eyes tell me one thing, but I choose to listen as well. And smell. And feel. The earth is unlocking from winter, arching her back and stretching to the sunlight. And singing. Listen.