A Small Reflection on Cranes

One of the great things with working at a computer at home on the countryside is that when the weather is great, I can go from a manmade world to divine creation in seconds. So it was today, when after several hours of answering emails, handling documents and trying to penetrate the latest computer system we are supposed to use — I heard the sound of cranes; not one or two but many, a whole chorus.

It was a crisp, sunny day after the first frost night and the trees were shifting into yellow and orange, strongly illuminated by the midday sun. And the moment I heard the lamenting and at the same time clear voices of the cranes calling out, ”it’s time; its time; we have to leave,” my fingers let go of the plastic keyboard in the middle of writing, “meeting 11.45…” and I grabbed my Nikon and the longest tele-objective I could find, and ran out. My wife came down and wondered if the house was on fire or something, but I was already out. And, yes, they were leaving. High up in the sky, they were flying round in circles in what looked like disorganized little groups passing through each other, saying good bye to this most beautiful day, which also alas was the first herald of the season of cold and darkness soon arriving.

After some minutes, circling and calling out, they formed themselves into the famous ploughshare and left. For a moment, I stood still surrounded by the light-hearted joy of early fall but also with that longing of the one left behind with only the memory and understanding of that in the short experience of crystal clear beauty, there is always a calling out, “it’s time to leave.”

Then I went back in to the plastic keyboard and began to tap this little story. But I will take lunch before resuming that meeting appointment and go through the final proofs of my manuscript. And I will not forget the calling of the cranes high up in the intensely blue chilly sky; I know they will come back.


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