Symphonic Solitudes

"Love consists of this, that two solitudes protect and touch each other."
- Rainer Marie Rilke

We heard them before we saw them: two geese flying into the lake. They soared in from the south, silhouetted against the dawn; their trumpeting honks reverberated in the amphitheater of trees. Silenced by their arrival, my husband and I observed from a swinging bench by the water as they alighted with wings that beat the air like drums.

We thought at first there were others responding with throaty sirens, so deafening were their echoes. Soon it was clear the two were solitary, raucous companions. They swam and sang their haunting calls louder and louder. The rhythmic rounds swirled in crescendo, each honk a new verse that elevated the dissonant harmony before falling quiet in the trees. We studied their sleek movement; our spirits resonated with the symphony.

The geese took turns continuing the task of bleated conversation. With each pause, they bent lithe necks to chest and threw back their beaks to ladle down the cool water. Each dip, quick and untidy, caused spilling drops to glitter. Pale auroras of mist swirled over the ripples as the geese floated as ghostly creatures in the shadowed lake. Silent humans and acrobatic birds - near in liminal love, beautifully ephemeral as the light or mist or song - bore witness to wonder.
As suddenly as they arrived, their song shifted keys and, in lyrical synchronicity, they took to the air, mist unfurling as clouds in their wake. The song faded as our attention followed them across the lake, up to treetops, past the horizon. With thoughtless and heavy breath, we wrote in the air a wordless farewell of surprise and thanks.

Two wild birds drawing close can evoke holy terror in the heart of a lone human, but inspired mystical delight in a pair seeking the deeper nature of things. Being human can feel lonely, but two humans sharing space together transforms isolation into a warm practice of protection. Trusting that each other being seeks something the other cannot fulfill is a wisdom that sanctifies individual strife.

I have heard that sighting a pair of geese is a good omen. That the solitudes of our two companionships touched gently, like wings to water or entranced hand to hand, relays a message beyond language. It is the mystery of the realm we inhabit authentically in silence. It sings as the quickened heartbeat, the animated woods, the disturbed and enlightened water, the flight above what can be seen.