Yesterday I drove my dad to his first Wisconsin doctor appointment. As we spun along between snowy fields, I looked up at the pale, empty winter sky, and began to think of geese. Geese returning at the end of a long winter, trailing spring behind them. Geese settling down for the night on the marshy lake-around-the-corner, their sleepy honks like an evening lullaby. Geese racing the south wind across a new-washed sky.
Suddenly I wanted, quite badly, to see some geese. I wanted to know that spring was near. How long before they would come? Weeks, probably. Geese need open water, and all the (outdoor) water in south-central Wisconsin has been frozen for some time now.
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Hours later, on our way home, I saw six birds flying over a field ahead. Six large birds. Birds with dark heads and white chinstraps.
"What are those birds, Dad? They look like ... they look like geese!"
"They do look like geese," Dad agreed.
What in the world were they doing there? I don't know, but I am taking it as a happy omen. Spring may be closer than we think.
P.S. These are not the birds I saw yesterday - this is a photo from 2012. But you get the general idea. :)
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