Since it doesn’t look like we’re anywhere close to having a crippling blizzard, it might as well get warmer so I can spend more time outside in the evenings. That thought in mind, I was outside this evening, grilling our chicken for dinner. It was that time of night when the sun is down, but it’s not yet fully dark. The sky clear, the air chilly and crisp, but with a new hint of softness. A promise of good things stirring in the ground. Any hold winter might still have is tenuous and weakening and I’m regretfully saying goodbye. Stars were bright, a full or nearly full moon lighting the sky to a gorgeous deep cobalt blue. I heard what I thought was another flock of Canada Geese calling in the dark. I’ve been seeing them on my runs. Huge V-shaped flocks high in the sky, the benefit of living along a river. The closer they got, and the louder the calling, I realized it wasn’t geese. Reflecting the fading light, illuminated against that luminous blue sky, hundreds of pure white bodies passed right over my head. Swans. Long white necks and broad wings. Ghostly, powerful, driven by ancient instinct, propelling each other through the night, calling, heralding their way. And then they were gone. Fading. And I felt humbled and privileged in the sacred silence. Such brief pure beauty when there is so much ugliness in life.