I received a lot of gifts from my Mom.
I remember how – every spring and fall – she would thrill to the sound of geese flying overhead on their semi-annual migrations. Whenever we heard that wonderful sound, together we’d run outside and look up. We'd bask in the beauty of those iconic V-formations and the cacophonous melody of the honking choir singing out the passage of seasons and the deep rhythms of nature and time.
I remember one spring morning in grade school, looking west outside from my desk, through the huge windows of our classroom on the second floor of (the long gone) St. Gabriel’s School, and counting 38 flocks of geese as they streamed past overhead. Some of them were close enough to hear. Others were silent in the distance over the black coal fields that surrounded my home town. I don’t remember that morning’s lessons, but I still remember the seemingly endless majesty of ribbons of uncounted geese on their journey north.
I stood transfixed, many years later on one crisp, spring Saturday morning – after Mom was gone - looking up as a procession of flocks of tundra swans and snow geese flew northward overhead for what seemed like hours. The morning sun gleamed on their white bodies. They looked like flecks of silver in that brilliant, cloudless, blue Northeast Pennsylvania sky.
Last Saturday morning, as I was out for a run, I hear that familiar, heart-tugging sound overhead. The electricity flowed. I only glanced skyward, not wanting to stop - being a masochistic type – but the honking music carried me along for a few minutes, thinking of shared moments, of loved ones, and of Mom.
Yesterday, I read this from Ad Crable, who’s as much a poet as he is a writer. And then I clicked the link and watched the video.
I felt the familiar tingle, even virtually.
This Spring, if you hear honking overhead, pause, look up, and listen.