April 6th, 2006

munkacsy_parc_monceau

Night Flight

Geese and nighthawks and owls (oh my!) The rain dripped for hours, then slowed, and the clouds began to part. The moon had already set, but swaths of stars appeared as a rising breeze, chilly yet soft, stirred the pines. I heard the owls hooting, first from one direction, then another. A passing hawk's call sounded, as clear and cold as the opening sky. Then a large flock of geese flew over, their exuberant honks reminding me of a procession of cars following a bride and groom. A sudden image came to my mind of a particular moment when I was perhaps five or six years old- the first wedding I ever attended.

I don't remember any names but those of the bride's parents, Rose and Dan. I see the line of cars ahead, glinting in bright sunlight, hear the honking horns, see passersby on the sidewalk turn and look, smiling at strangers. There was a room full of music, and there was colorful cake on paper plates and a huge punch bowl, and then there was a small package of rice tied with a ribbon, which I didn't open but stuck in my pocket. I don't remember what became of it. Fragments. It seems an odd scene to be conjured by a passing flock of geese on this cold, moonless night, and so distant. As the sound of the geese fades northward, I wonder what became of the people I saw that day. I can't now make out their faces, any more than I could see the loud geese high in the dark sky. The hawk gone, and the geese, only the hooting of the owls continues to punctuate the shivering of the trees.
caillebotte_the orangerie

Un-Boxing Day

The day grew quite bright, but not particularly warm. Though clouds remain, they were fluffy and white rather than sombre gray. The birds must have been glad for the chance to dry out, as there were constant chirps well into evening. Still, because many of the plants which bloomed prematurely have died back, today looked less like spring than did many days in February. This displacement of the season is interesting, but a bit unnerving. All afternoon I had the feeling that we ought to be farther along in the year than we are. The moss on the mulberry is still dense and dark winter shade of green, but the walk is already littered with faded camellia petals. When is it?

I dug into a couple of the boxes in the garage that were liberated by the removal of the car. So far, I've found nothing of great interest, but there are about sixty or seventy boxes to go, and there are bound to be forgotten treasures in some of them. The cat, incidentally, has become less interested in the garage now that the car is gone. She liked sitting under it. The new, largely empty room has less appeal for her. She does enjoy looking into the boxes when I open them, though, and sniffing everything that comes out of them. Still, I suspect that, given a choice, she'd rather have the car back.