Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Flight of the Geese

Certain sights never fail to evoke wonderment in me, living here in the midwest. A formation of Canadian geese appears in the evening sky, their distinctive v-shaped figures gliding overhead into a long band of crimson. The laggard ones, still orderly in smaller flocks, are close behind. The geese dip low over the darkening lagoon, emitting squawks, beating in unison. Soon, the sky falls silent, bereft of life for the moment.

I love these wintry days when we walk through the parks, still in the city, but the silence feels rural. Here and there, we pass a runner, sleek and bright; another couple strolls by, swathed like us, red faces peering out from woolly bundles.

It is in this bare, white landscape that I observe more deeply. The city hovers nearby, but it's the lake that beckons with its expanse -the sheets of ice crackling as the water underneath sighs with a rhythm of its own.

The solitude invites quiet observation, and I feel an affinity to my surroundings. I see the rippling of water in a melted slash on the frozen lake's surface -this rivulet freed from the riven ice. I see park benches, their wood once bare and brown, now with a thin mantle of snow.

In the distance, we catch a glimpse of a bank of windows, brightly lit, and we quickly make our way there, drawn by the prospect of warmth and tea.

We walk into the fragrance of a cafe, greeted by a jostling of bodies. It seems fitting now to be in the midst of this bustle, solitude only minutes away. With my cup of chai precarious in my hands, we squeeze into the few seats still unoccupied.

I sip my chai, a tea I don't make at home nowadays. Chai, for me, is a treat -more a confection than a tea- one I often have when we go out. Turbo-charged with a generous dollop of sugar and the caffeine from black tea, chai seems to fit nicely into this tableau of conviviality. I bask in its warmth, its aromas of Indian spices, the flight of geese still vivid in my mind.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You brought the chill of the Mid-West to me on a winters day in the Florida Keys. May the tea warm and inspire you.