season of the mournful cry
it gives you goosebumps when, say, you are meandering down the lane, and suddenly through the leafy canopy above, you hear the song of your heart raining down from the heavens.
what i mean is it’s been happening all week, for a string of weeks. i am out attending to the nooks and crannies of my life, my garden, the here-to-there of chores and errands and putting one foot before the other.
i am likely sifting through the shadows of my heart, my ache, my longing, and there it comes, the piercing. the minor key, the dissonance, the trumpet blasts of geese in Vs, far above the trees.
they punctuate the sky, the gray september sky. they punctuate the flight. and with it, my own mournful song.
this is the season of migration, of winged flight, of thousands of miles of flapping wings, and honking siren’s call.
the snow geese, the canadian geese, turn and return, from cold north woods, to far-off warmer climes.
and as they pass on high, they cry out to me. and i in turn return the call–though silent. my mournful song has no melody, and its verse i keep inside. some sorrows, best kept hushed.
i have always, though, found company, found solace, in the geese’s call. it is but one of the dark notes of autumn that draw me in, that take me to a deeper place, the cove of meditation.
and this autumn in particular it is as if my song, my internal cry, is broadcast from the clouds. the geese cry, they call out, and so i listen, i respond. i reply, stopping in my tracks, taking in their celestial signal.
(i wonder if perhaps the cry of the signal goose is why they call it goosebumps. for that is the thing, the spine-tingling, up-and-down-the-arm-tingling, that happens in an instant when that one long note makes its way down, down, spiraling from above to the inner crevice of my heart.)
i hear the lonely goose, and i understand its story. i embrace the mournful cry.
God’s world is at one with me.
and how blessed are we, we who live beneath the arc of flight, to take in the sorrowful song of the V that etches ’cross the sky.
how blessed are we, when, at oddest hours, just beyond the dawn, or in the cloak of nightfall, we hear the trumpet blast rain down.
i am not one to run and hide from shadow, from sadness. i say bring it on, the whole orchestra of heart sound, the light, the bright, and, yes, the dark. i find particular company in the darkness. i find much to explore there.
and this september, as my heart is stretched and pulled, and i redefine the rhythm, the verse of my everyday, i am at one with the crying goose who flaps across my frame of sky.
i turn and crane my neck. i scan in search of all the pitch-black Vs. i hear before i see.
and when at last i catch the flapping geometry, when i match song to sight, i lock my eyes. i follow that acute angle till the dull edge of my horizon.
it is a call to prayer for me, this mystical stirring from beyond the beyond.
and so i send up holy whispers, and so i wrap myself in the sacred folds of their heavensong.
be safe, mournful geese, as you cross the globe. bless your brave determined flight.
i hear you, papa goose, as you and i together sing in minor key, the sound of love trying to find its way.
a short bit of musing on this crisp cool day, when pumpkins tug on the vine, and cinnamon bubbles on my stove. i am haunted in the best way by the cry of the geese. i find such comfort in their mournful melody. who else has heard their flight song? who else is stirred by the power of migration? who else finds full glory in all the colors of the rainbow, the light, the dark, and shadows in between? who else is trying to find the way, this september?
this is poetry – not just the words but the knowing connection to the earth, the link between the “dark notes of autumn” and the “cove of meditation.” it is said that taoism, a great body of wisdom, was gained by watching and learning from nature. it is foolish to think anything less, to regard nature not as part of the whole; it is the path to wisdom to find our reflection in the rhythm and pulse of the natural world. Just this week i climbed to the top of a mountain. a journey long planned, too-long delayed, which in a way is a pattern often played in my life. i reached and reveled at the top. and on the drive home I entered a valley filled with rain and sunlight. a double rainbow crossed the valley. i could make out every color of the spectrum and was able clearly to see both sides of the rainbow. that was my rainbow. i knew that as fully as i had sat atop that mountain. i don’t need to know the meaning. it may be vanity to assign a specific meaning to that experience, for it is far more vast than the mind could comprehend. i felt in my heart a knowing beyond words, a certainty, and that is all that matters.
ah, my david, the painter, the drummer, the artist of wood. it is heavenly to find you here. you are the poet. and your climb to the mountain top, the poetry. i love you through and through. thank you for seeing all the colors, taking in all the notes, the dissonant and not. thank you, most of all, for taking the journey, and not leaving me behind.
With autumn comes the migration of sandhill cranes.Their cry is so incredible,it tingles the spine,mournful, yet so spiritual.Thank you for reminding me of the beauty of their travels.
can you stand one more comment? i agree with david, and yes his comment is mainer talk, the kind that sets the poet free inside and out.but this here, this here will be read by me tonight…i’ve been searching through my ramblings for what i just might bring to a poetry meet tonight. me who talks so much and says so little, but when i take the time to write it down- well, it scares me what i see, what i feel so i’m a bit vulnerable to say what i write feel. may i please then, take this with me and speak for you? i would get up and read your words so that others in that little group might see, for who couldn’t when something that came from geese to you so full- goosebumps given might too, raise the blessed hairs on numb arms?just a snippet i’ll take, give the word of you…lead them here. we need this you know (i’m awfully glad you got the shot of those geese flying overhead…)
truest wonder,you can carry my words wherever you go, and use ’em however you see fit. you got carte blanche with me, my beautiful friend. and bless you for returning to the table. sending love. abundantly….