In October the great restlessness came, the Zugunrube, the restlessness of birds before migration. After a long, unseasonable hot spell, one morning dawned suddenly cold . . .
I have never heard the term Zugunrube to describe that in-between time when the world is changing from summer to fall to winter. The birds sense it, probably before most of us do. It's the dropping of temperatures at night. Slowing of sap in the trees. Fattening up of bear and squirrel and skunk for the long winter's nap. I imagine birds feel the coming cold in their feathers--in the vane and quill and down. And, as Dillard says, they get restless.
Autumn is upon the Upper Peninsula. This last weekend before school starts, my kids are getting restless. They have their new clothes and backpacks. We're getting lunch supplies tonight. It's difficult letting go of the freedom that June, July, and August afford. I understand that. During the last three months, we haven't had to worry about dance lessons and Sunday school and band practices and football games. That has been a blessing.
But time marches on. Green gives way to gold and orange. School bells start ringing. However, for these next three days, I'm going to hold on to the last few moments of relative freedom. I'm going to finish a book, work on a poem. Maybe I'll go for a walk tonight. It's supposed to be warm. I'll take my kids to see a movie tomorrow.
So, my advice to everybody reading this post: enjoy the next three days. Go to the beach. Walk in the woods. Read a good book. Eat a good meal. Zugunrube is right around the corner.
Saint Marty can feel it in his wings.