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BOB GRAY: Migration

If you've kept up with your chores, if your wood pile's high, and your flower beds gone over, put away your hoe and rake.

Housatonic — Migrations are the essence of fall.

The urge to travel is hard-wired into autumn fliers. Mother birds will abandon their young in the nest rather than miss their reservations for their long journey south. Geese whose pinions have been plucked actually begin to hike south. Wild birds, captured and caged, beat themselves bloody on the bars of their confinement when it’s time to head out and away.

Yapping flocks of wild geese are far-off travelers, announcing their arrival or bidding farewell to all who’ll listen.

Either way, they refuse to be ignored.

The highest flocks, their calling barely audible, their v-formations mere pencil-checks against the gray sky, ride cold-laden winds south leaving us watching and wondering.

Perhaps their clattering calls you. I know it moves me. But I can do no more than envy their ultimate freedom. Geese neither get nor have nor sow nor reap.

I remember a quote which seems apt to our earth-bound condition: “It’s good to collect things, but it’s better to go on walks.”

If you’ve kept up with your chores, if your wood pile’s high, and your flower beds gone over, put away your hoe and rake. Let the frost take whatever’s left in the vegetable garden. Let the wind take the leaves where it may. There’ll be piles more in a day or two.

Go off on a migration of your own to a stump by the river, to your quiet, sacred, place in the woods.

Walk away – across a field or up a mountain – from your troubles and cares. If only for a little while, free your mind and let your spirit soar up and away.


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