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BOB GRAY: Signs of spring

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By Friday, Mar 11, 2016 Life In the Berkshires

Housatonic — A man is a man and March is March, and the former must live and through the latter before he can know May, June and summer.

Still, though weary of this year’s gray extension of November, he longs for the warmth and green, performs rituals and propitiations appropriate to the season, and looks hopefully for signs of progress where he can.

He finds sure signs borne by birds, returning songbirds for certain, but more so in migrating geese. These aren’t the fall geese whipping purposeful, high and handsome south in tight, “v” formation. Spring geese, though yapping and clattering are down-to-earth, strung out in a ragged line easing back north with no apparent urgency.

Sitting on the wide hickory stump out back, I face into the sun, watching them awhile. Three geese here, two geese there, looped away right and left, maybe suffering from a touch of spring fever and having trouble sticking to the serious business of migration.

I remembered just a week ago I’d been flying, more purposefully than they, from Florida and back home. I was winging six-hundred miles an hour and thirty-seven-thousand feet high over the waters where some of these geese had wintered. Being human forbade any leisurely flight.

Getting up, heading back to chores I wondered at the birds’ judgment and faith in staking their lives and their futures to March, bearing with them a conviction and certainty of the truth of the strengthening sun, of the turning wind, and the greening earth.

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