Winter solstice

Only a few days left, everything is a blur. I step out from the kitchen, warm and scented with lemon, rosemary, chocolate and spice. The early night air feels sharp, the chill jarring after the whirl of warm baking sheets and sugary smudges.

Bundled up with packages and places to be, I juggle in winter’s first dusky eve to quickly pull the cover off my tiny old car and stow it in the trunk before hopping in to crank the engine and turn the heat all the way up.

The cold air carries a sound, though, and it’s growing louder, louder. I look up into the darkening sky and now I know the sound, a flock of geese in the distance, and I wait to see the familiar V formation pass overhead… there is just a hint of light left, barely enough to see as the cloudy moonless night descends, but the shadowy shapes begin to appear in the distance. They break from behind the trees across the way and I realize it’s not a V at all, it’s a massive flock all honking and crying, keeping everyone together and filling the sky as they speed across my line of sight. In barely an instant they’re gone and the sound quickly fades as though absorbed into the clouds.

I stand there for just a moment and recall… where was I going? On this winter’s night the geese are not distracted, they know just where they are going, and in this uncertain world I suddenly have no doubt at all that they will reach their destination.

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