Migration is impossible to miss in Vermont when the nights turn chilly, leaves are falling and wind is whipping them around, while geese, high in the sky, pass noisily over my yard. Every day another formation works to maintain their V as they soar above traveling to a new world; their honking urging us all to reconsider our decision to stay behind. I mean, they are headed to a warm and infinitely easier location, while we are left to face whatever may come our way… (Here is where I admit that I have no real idea where the geese are going, I mean I know they are headed south, but where exactly they go for the winter, I can’t say.)

Migrating geese headed to their winter paradise isn’t the only mystery I’m wrestling with these days… for Death has reared itself into my view once again. Some people find solace in religion, maybe even feel definitive about where their love ones are after they have passed, but I find myself standing on this ever changing landscape questioning.  Questions that are quelled only in split seconds for as our loved ones are gone from our sight they are curiously tangible in the rush of the chilling air, in the shaft of slanting light, in the frost of dawning day, and in the blue of the lingering dusk. In the transcendental I am reminded that the veil between this world and the afterlife is as thin as paper and in those fleeting moments those who have passed are, well, present again in that in-between place where we can feel them once more…

Last weekend my mother and I drove to visit an ailing Aunt. On our return the drama of  nature unfolded all around, a majestic rainbow behind us, to the west tall angry clouds complete with lightening bolts, to the east over long stretches of corn fields dozens of geese practicing for their long journey. The sky a violent contrast of dark and light caused me to consider and as I watched those feathered travelers prepare for the unknown I saluted them for their bravery to go where they knew not.

To the south the sun broke through and fell on the long stretch of highway ahead of us. The golden light filled me with the resolve to let them go on their uncharted journey, as I accepted staying behind, grateful to know they would pass this way again…

This post is dedicated to the short but rich life of Mikell Varn

24 thoughts on “migration

  1. A very sad occasion. Life is a precious gift, and leaves us overwhelmed when it is no longer. Maria must be heartbroken, as her writing expresses. Mikell, a young man, gone from view. Some however, leave ‘life’ in the hearts of those they touch. Mikell appears to have been one such individual. His heart, and love will surely remain.


  2. What a lovely migration it is every year…..we hear them,sometimes see them,but always know they are going……Isn’t that just a miracle? We KNOW,next spring,they will be back!!!!!!!You catch the loveliest sights,ninecentgirl,and your discernment is even more delightful!
    Yesterday,when i was getting not such lovely news at Englewood Hospital,we saw outside,landing on a high tree,a few green paraqueets……quickly,there were 10 more,and then we were at least,20……..all with white breasts,and green,green. Was that an unusual sight? We thought of it as a good sign……..


  3. I have always been amazed at just how much migrating geese can teach us about our interactions with other people! Did you know that only the geese at the back of the V actually honk and its done to encourage those in the front to keep on leading and moving the group forward?


  4. Hey Ninecentgirl, those geese are so intelligent. Like you, I think about them all the time. I do think many of them end up in So. Florida.(well, that’s where I reside). After all, they are the real snow birds. It’s so uncanny how they pick the opportune time to seek out warmth. Humans could learn a lot from creatures.

    Sorry to learn of your ailing aunt. I wish her well. It’s good to believe in something;that’s what gives you peace of mind and sanity. Enjoy every moment.

    By the way, love your writing. It’s honest and heartwarming. Will be back. Thanks for checking out my post.


  5. Mikell was such a cherished soul.
    I just saw a book was published that says he was the author…Life through his eyes. Do you know about it? Is it just a tribute to him written by someone else?
    This is a beautiul post.


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