Wednesday, November 9, 2011

November 9: Fall Voices

Each morning there's a certain sequence of sounds I expect to hear. The very early morning sound of our neighbor's garbage truck groaning down the hill and braking at the corner as he heads off to his day's work. The creak of my husband's office chair as he ekes out some writing (and news reading) time before I get up. The alarm. The high-pitched yapping of our neighbor's chihuahua, which maintains the same energy and decibel level no matter if it's 6 a.m. or 11 p.m. Birds landing on the window feeder in the kitchen. The school bus at 8 a.m. on the dot, picking up the kids across the street. When the windows are open, the constant rush of the river out back... The regularity of these sounds makes even the most annoying ones somehow comforting. All is on time and as it should be.

This morning as I was getting ready for work, I heard over the sound of the shower what I thought at first was the neighbor's dog barking yet again. Then I realized the sound was a little different--less "yip yip yip" and more like a loud, murmuring conversation: the honking of geese. Their calls grew louder as they flew downriver behind the house, their bodies visible through the (mostly) bare branches. I'd been seeing a flock upriver at work this week, grazing near the Seabright Dam. Were they finally leaving? I felt a sudden pang at the thought.

But then, just as I began to write this, I looked out the window and saw the flock slowly flapping its way back upriver, where they landed just out of sight. Apparently this unseasonably warm, beautiful day has convinced them to stick around a little longer. One more day, at least.

Sounds of a morning:
geese conversing, heading south.
It must be autumn.

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