I took our younger son to the park today. It is a bit windy but warm and the sky is what Jon Krakauer called "achingly blue" when he was up Mt. Everest.
Despite a warm forecast for the week ahead, a friend's assertion that his ankle says fall seems right. The big geese are practicing migration. They are doing what look like fighter pilot touch-and-goes off the golf course ponds. They take off, fly a lap in formation around the park, quickly execute changes of leader in the air, then land, rest and repeat.
I'm sure that's humdrum for the real Dakotans, but for an L.A. guy it is magical. The geese work the change of leader at low altitude on these test runs, and the up close view is rougher than I expected. The sub comes up and does an abruptly physical shoulder roll over the leader, who drops back without missing a beat. Other than that, the formation is all gentle unison, flapping and floating as one.
The beauty was welcome. Today is a moody one, as our family is in a bittersweet season. Our older son is off to college - driving across the Plains as I type this. He and mom said farewells at the house, and he came by the park for the guy farewells.
He's launched - it marks a season of success in our lives to send him out. But the house is emptier and that marks a different season. Autism isn't keeping his brother from feeling it; even the pets are making concerned faces as they poke around.
Thank God for the face-saving solemnity of sunglasses.