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Day By Day© by Chris Muir.


Sunday, November 21, 2004

sounds trigger memories

When I was a young lad, I delivered the Oregonian and the Oregon Journal newspapers. We lived in the high desert country in eastern Oregon. My route drug me out of bed well before most of the townsfolk were awake.
I can remember spring and fall as magical times. Flocks of ducks and geese making their twice a year flights would darken the sky in the early morning. I’ve seen the entire sky, from horizon to horizon, full of the “V” flight groups of geese, and more ducks than there were stars in the desert night sky. Those mornings have been a part of me since. Tonight I listened to a flock of geese flying overhead. There must have been quite a few, because I listened to their honking signals for at least five minutes as they passed by.
Hearing the geese triggered those memories of trudging through town, a newsboy bag full of papers over my shoulders. The air was almost always crisp if not chilly, and smelled of wood stove smoke and fallen leaves. In the fall, I always had access to apples and pears, because every house in town had at least one or two fruit trees, and the fruit was ripe and waiting for me to pick a couple as I made my morning rounds. It seems a bit late for the geese to be heading south, but then, I’ve never really paid much attention to the dates they flew, just the formations.
I wish I knew then how special those mornings would be in the years to come. There was a freedom of being up and out that early in the morning. It was a time to fantasize about the future, about movies, about stopping time so that I might be able to finish the route and go home for an extra hour or two sleep before school. I was just a kid, and most kids don’t really pay attention to what they are experiencing at the time. It just happened. I’m glad I had the chance to see those things, and to do those things, and to have the time to think about things without any pressures other than finishing the route before I had to go to school. I’m glad I can hear geese flying overhead, and I’m 12 years old again, watching in wonder the undulating V’s of thousands of birds flying from somewhere I could imagine to a place I could imagine.
I bet I can still roll a paper without rubberbands and toss it onto a porch while riding a bike. Some things you never forget.


Blogger Alison said...

That was lovely. Thank you.

11/21/04, 6:44 AM  

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