Thursday, November 12, 2009

What we need is here

It's been kind of rainy and dreary the past few days. We had a power outage Wednesday at our house on a mountainside. Our neighbors tell us to get used to it.

Autumn is definitely in its final throes; the trees around us are more barren than leafed, summer now a memory. There is one major benefit to the trees losing foliage; we can now see the Ragged Mountains a few miles away, and they are still a rich quilt of ambers.

One thing I miss this time of year about the West is the Pacific Flyway. We used to live under it. The geese, ducks, and other migratory birds fly south down the Central Valley in massive winged formations. Sometimes, when it is overcast, we can hear the birds squawking above clouds as they fly over our house. The birds fly day and night, and there were nights when the dog would wake up and bark at the noisy birds overhead.

I hope this day, wherever you are, you will pause, maybe look up in the sky, or just listen to the sounds of autumn around you. Here is an offering for your day from our friend Karen in Tennessee:
The Wild Geese
by Wendell Berry

Horseback on Sunday morning,
harvest over, we taste persimmon
and wild grape, sharp sweet
of summer's end. In time's maze
over the fall fields, we name names
that went west from here, names
that rest on graves. We open
a persimmon seed to find the tree
that stands in promise,
pale, in the seed's marrow.
Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear,
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye
clear. What we need is here.

Photo of the Pacific Flyway by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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