• Local
  • Pittsfield, MA
  • more weather >

BOB GRAY: Migration

More Info
By Sunday, Oct 16, 2016 Viewpoints 4

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.

More by »

Read More from

4 Comments   Add Comment

  1. DB says:

    Thanks Bob.
    That was nice.
    I had an inside job for two years…in front of a big plate glass window which faced the woods. I felt like that caged bird wanting to migrate as i would look out that window into the woods….especialy so in the fall. Thank heavens I left that gig for the great outdoors! My Conference Room is now on a tiny island in the middle of a small stream. I will go there today and thank my lucky stars!

    1. bob says:

      You’re welcome.
      I’m always gratified when my writing touches some one in a good place. Good for you on going for and finding your good place,

  2. Laura Clark says:

    As always, I love your way with words – very beautifully written, very evocative, and very pertinent. It’s funny – I remember when I was at MMRHS, especially late in the day…stuck in something horrendous like Trig or Chemistry and gazing out at the beauty surrounding our school and town, and just wanting to GET OUTSIDE AND BREATHE IT ALL IN!

    1. bob says:

      Thank you, Laura.
      I appreciate you kind words. I’m getting unblocked lately and hope I can do some good work.

What's your opinion?

We welcome your comments and appreciate your respect for others. We kindly ask you to keep your comments as civil and focused as possible. If this is your first time leaving a comment on our website we will send you an email confirmation to validate your identity.