Next month I will find a reason, and make the time, to spend a day and a night at Windrock, at the big house by the sea. I will come for the ospreys that follow the herring, riding high in wild, whistling cries on the wind. I will stand by the Agawam flume and watch the blue backed fish stacking up in the plunge pool, holding fast all together in the current and waiting for the moment to leap.
The season has been closed for several years now with herring and alewife stocks so depleted, and so watching the fish returning is harbinger and augury both, a prognosis of the advancing season, of new life, and the health of the environment all together. It happens around my birthday, when the trees are still bare but budding. I imagine this as a time of solitude, though I may well have a child or two turning me gladly outward.
I went stargazing last night, stepping back from the unhooded streetlamp and into the shadows. Then I could see those cool, pale fires hung like beads of glass in the branches of the sugar maple. The night was well advanced, for I am active long after sundown like the owls in the pines. I saw the promise of crepuscular Spring, Virgo arisen and Orion stepping off beyond the fatal tail of Scorpio. I saw Saturn suspended off the shoulder of Pollux, like the disembodied self who appears on the wing to pilots fighting gravity. I saw a whole section of unfamiliar sky, a patch of lost memory, or perhaps never before seen for what it was.
I remembered the Southern Cross, twisting in the steel trusses of the old wind pump where I perched in the veldt by the waterhole, waiting. I thought of spinning tales of Norse gods and northern lights while sailing a dog watch with my uncle Rob beneath a rain of blazing meteors in the Gulf of Maine. Of the wisp lights of June fireflies beyond the garden gate. Of that once in a hundred year aurora that spread above the valley one March night when my parents, sister and I were driving home from dinner.I am in love with all this. I let it sweep through my shuttered soul. I soak it up like groundwater in a dry riverbed, store it against the failure of the rain. This is how I atone, how I connect. How I breathe.