I step outside my back door to call for my naughty kittens, and all I can hear are geese.
Thousands of them, having a conversation with the sky. Just down the road from me is this swamp, a perfect stopping-off place on their way south, and they gather here in great flocks. Before they settle in for the night, there will be a fabulous party.
Lots of food will be served, and there is always plenty to drink. Old friends will get reacquainted over gossip about the summer. New friends will be made. Youngsters will be flirting. There may even be a little showing off, in front of that gaggle of girls. Small fights will break out, later.
It is a happy party, raucous and loud and jolly. It is early yet in the season, there is still enough food and warmth and fun to go around. These are the smart geese, the prepared and organized and have-their-lives-together geese.
Later, there will be stragglers, sometimes when it is too cold, the water already frozen. On a gray day in November, I will hear that call and look up to see a lone goose, or a group of three, and I will wonder why they have come so late, what calamity caused their late departure, of if they are just the lazy geese, the not-so-organized ones, those left behind.
Or were they simply not invited to the party?
Soon, winter will be here, knocking on this door that I stand at just now. But today, the trees line my driveway in a riot of color, golds and oranges, purples and greens, reds and yellows. Berries and crabapples drop to the ground like so much confetti. Leaves dance through the air to music only they can hear.
I have my wool socks out, but not yet my boots. A fall jacket, but not yet
my winter coat.
There is still time. This party is not over.
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