Saturday, January 5, 2008

turkey in the trees

As we watch our patrons sit at their tables with their long lists in their hands discussing plans for this coming year, as we do it ourselves pouring over calendars, it seems that this new year’s resolutions are all about Time. Managing Time, finding Time, increasing Time, carving out Time, outsmarting Time. Of course, Time doesn’t really pay attention to all our efforts and keeps rolling on regardless of our attempts at wrestle it to the ground.

In comtemplating all the notions about the passage of hours, days, and months, and feeling like there is never enough of any of these bits and pieces that we scrap together to mark our lives, we watch the band of turkeys slowly gulumphing in the deep and heavy snow. These are the same turkeys who came to us in the raw browns and pine greens of pre-spring. They unruffled their feathers as the days warmed and lengthened and the apple trees blossomed. They had the first of their broods after the lilac and Siberian iris bloomed, and the second brood when the august yellows and saturated greens brought the end of summer. They are the turkeys that ate all our ripe grapes from our fledgling vineyard making us think fiendish thoughts about tasty Thanksgiving roasts, and they are the turkeys that survived the fall hunting season. In December, they feasted on what was left of the winter apples on trees, and our neighbor has poured a bag of cracked corn under a meadow fruit tree to keep the merry group fed and happy during the ensuing cold months.

We see these turkeys every day, have seen the poults(yes, this is the name for a baby turkey) grow into fine adolescents;. we see them on our porch curious about what goes on behind our windows, or traveling through what’s left of our snowy garden to collect seed pods. In these winter days, we watch them fly into trees, unbelievable as that may be, and pose with their speckled plumage. The turkeys have marked Time in their seasonal way, and it reminds us that as we feel our modern world rushing forward to meet us, that Time is as we perceive it. The turkeys gambol pleasantly about their hours, and just watching them has shown us how Nature has the ability to create more space between each ticking second of the clock. And somehow, this is a balm to the harried urgency of our hectic daily plans and calendar-making.


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