Lake Yergensen- March 17, 2010- our south forty
This morning I had to choose between laser pink/orange sun rising over the edge of the world or watching the first flock of geese flying low directly over my head. The first light is just a pinpoint and then a huge rising globe larger than any Serengeti sunrise you've ever seen on a documentary about Africa. I chose the geese because they are more ephemeral than the sun.
There is something special about the pre-sunrise and early dawn. The worlds isn't exposed to any harsh glares. Everything is muted and then pink. The low sun lights the geese from beneath and they shine in the sky. For me this is the best time of the day- full of wonder, hope and promise.
They are back. After 105 days down south the first two geese dropped low in our yard and honked as they flew directly in front of my kitchen window last Sunday. As we walked down the driveway this morning, a huge flock (in the hundreds, not 10's of thousands yet) flew up from our south forty "lake." We could see other large flocks rising up to the north- Alma said "the bus must be coming." The bus scares up the other flocks that are in the potholes to the north and west of us.
The patterns of this pothole prairie are emerging for me. The season changing... the darkness and the angles of the sun...sounds and silence...the smells...the taste of Girl Scout cookies (Thin Mints) which are now indelibly linked with the first thaw and those first geese of the season.
I have three school years of walking my kids down the driveway to the school bus.
Year 1- 2 preschoolers (3 year olds) and a 2nd grader
Year 2- 2 preschoolers (4 year olds) and a 3rd grader
Year 3- 2 kindergarteners and a 4th grader
There's even a gentle pattern in our kids getting older. But if I could hold them at this very moment in time- I would. I am already preparing myself to miss them when I am an old women walking out on the prairie to take in the seasons. These are the good old days. I know it and savor every moment of it that I can.
In the mean time, just like last year, they played in the ice water until they couldn't stand it one more minute and came clunking to the house sobbing with frozen feet in their farm boots filled with slushy snow water.
I walk a few miles, reverently, because running would be too loud. I hear the symphony of geese everywhere around me. As the sun rises there are more and more geese- louder and louder. Today, this very day, winter is bursting. I am giddy. My heart and soul are full of gratitude for the beauty above me, beauty below me, beauty all around me.