I went for a walk alone this afternoon in gray, quiet falling snow. The only sound was a pair of hairy woodpeckers working the bark of a maple, high overhead. Until I heard, high above them, geese. It was a big flock, flying in a V, heading north through the falling snow. I know that they are hardy ones who have decided to stay here for the winter, and they are just moving toward the broad lake, away from smaller ponds that have now frozen in last week's below zero temperatures. It was good to see them and know that they're still here, that they think it's worth staying in Vermont through the cold and darkness.
I feel as though I haven't seen sunlight for weeks. Winter has caught me by surprise this year. A lot has caught me by surprise.
My parents have grown old.
A teenager has died
Now two dogs I love have passed on
Winter comes unexpectedly.
I wonder if the geese, too, have been caught by surprise, if even wild things suddenly become adrift, unaware, and find themselves startled, wondering how they could possibly be where they are now.
We search for safer water.