Roundabout

 Spring today.

The geese went by – just 4, and not flying directly north. Only minutes before that, a breeze had come through the window, and I thought – spring is here. Whether I’m ready or not.

Now it’s the sounds that have changed. A helicopter goes by, and the noise of the rotors is muffled somewhat, as though a breeze were drawing the vibrations away and separating them. Light diffused, as in flowers, petals not yet seen, splitting the air and time up the way music does, as they burst through the dirt and air. We don’t see them grow. They don’t have a website. And yet their power persists, season after season.

Maybe it’s all the force of the earth underneath that we can feel, rising and pushing, and ready for what is next. More birds fly by, and the sky is a milky blue, the sun higher above than it has been for a while. The brightness is wider, and clearer, and for a brief few moments, the sounds of everything else – the cars, the subway on its line over the road, looking down at the trucks and buses, the men who yell to each other as they unload the trucks – seems muffled and far away, as though it were coming from another neighborhood, several blocks away. Far away sounds seem close though. I’m sure I can hear the silence under the pine trees on a path I used to walk, helping a small child over the rocks.

Then. Now.

In the distance, there is a train horn, a brief warning at a station, as it flits through on its way to the beach. The water is out there, rushing onto the rocks that break up the lengths of sand. No one is there, and out in the waves, a dolphin lifts its head quickly, before submerging once more. Dancing in the cold green water, it has been coming in close to shore to look for its friend, a harbor porpoise, equally threatened, enjoying the freedom of the waves before the humans and jet skis come to ruin their winter peace.

Animals did not mind lockdown. It kept us spoiled humans at a distance. Spoiled creatures, told the world was made for mankind. Translating that to mean license to take, use up and destroy, each blow moving us further away from the beauty that returns when our mechanical interference is no more.

The calm is now gone – of course. Instead, a fire engine is racing down the street, facing the danger and tragedy of some disaster. Now there is another truck joining it, sirens shrieking, insisting as it pushes aside the traffic on the urgency of the end. Hopefully all will be healed and taken care of, but in the list of the daily incidents, the never-ending repetition of accidents, gunshots, fires and robbery, car crashes and disappearances, the disintegration continues, as if the energy of the world could be spent on nothing else.

Listening to the ground under the concrete. Watching the birds prepare. The earth, still stronger than our egos, waiting for our dreams to hear the call.

The Hour-Hand of Life — Life consists of rare, isolated moments of the greatest significance, and of innumerably many intervals, during which at best the silhouettes of those moments hover about us. Love, springtime, every beautiful melody, mountains, the moon, the sea – all these speak completely to the heart but once, if in fact they ever do get a chance to speak completely. For many men do not have those moments at all, and are themselves intervals and intermissions in the symphony of real life.”

Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits

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