Notes from the Waxhaws

Time passages

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Well I’m not the kind to live in the past
The years run too short and the days too fast
The things you lean on are the things that don’t last
Well it’s just now and then my line gets cast into these
Time passages.

~Al Stewart, Time Passages

There are moments in life when the reality that we’ve known slips out from under us…replaced by a new reality that is essentially the same…but with slight differences. Differences so small…and seemingly insignificant enough…to make us wonder whether any change  has occurred at all. But these minute changes color everything going forward. It reminds me of a story by Ursula Le Guin called The Lathe of Heaven, about a man whose dreams affected reality. After awakening from one of his dreams, the world would be changed, unbeknownst to everyone else who blithely went about their lives  as if nothing had happened.

After awakening early this morning, I was sitting in bed with my cup of coffee, listening to Living on Earth on a local NPR radio station. They were talking about the Fall migration of Canada Geese. It brought back fond memories of the large flocks of geese that would pass through and occasionally put down on the small lake that we lived nearby in Northern Illinois. There would be a cacophonous honking as they made their brief stopovers.

They then started talking about the migration of Cackling Geese. Cackling Geese? I rummaged through my somewhat still groggy brain cells…but couldn’t quite recall any details of that particular species. It was only when they mentioned that Cackling Geese were once thought to be a diminutive sub-species of the well known Canada Goose species that my memory was somewhat jogged awake. Evidently, in 2004, the Cackling Goose species was split from the Canada Goose species, based upon differences in DNA. I’ve always had more than a passing interest in birds, but somehow this had escaped my radar.

So…my reality changed this morning. Sure…it’s nothing momentous…but just another indication that things are constantly changing…whether or not we’re aware of them . Other such things have caught me somewhat unawares in the past. I vaguely recall when Pluto was demoted from being a planet. And I was somewhat recently shocked to hear that the Milwaukee Brewers were now in the National League, playing the Cubs on a regular basis, instead of their old arch-rivals the White Sox. But this goose thing…I never saw it coming.

Written by Jim

October 7, 2012 at 5:28 pm

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