Bald eagle perches tree top winter barren gray and stares at stunted pines. Hawk, head tucked under massive wings reaching for distant stars rides a thermal coaster waiting for squirrels. Hills cry out raging against dawn tears flow puddling in footprints of a distant god.
The salmon people don’t live here anymore you have moved them up the river, then inland so they no longer need to wander.
The salmon do not swim here anymore you have dammed the rivers to draw out their power and penned the mighty fish where the river first licks the sea.
The eagle doesn’t fly here anymore the great pines that sat for generations below his aerie are now cut into neat supports on which we hang our walls.
Our children do not run here anymore they have moved to the cities, have gone off to wars for fighting is the only job which they are given.
We have no rivers we have no salmon we have no sons, save those who sleep under neat white stones. We look for the eagle a mighty spirit but he, too, has been claimed by the others to decorate their buildings. We have only our spirit to guide us and we know that soon you will claim them too and leave us as you arrived to repeat the sad story.
We sit and discuss complex viscosity values and loss tangent ranges throwing in relaxation modulus for good measure, but we end up at ratios, slicing the data ever thinner, until I fog over and remember that today is the first day of summer, and the birds, bathing in the sun play like children finally freed from their winter bondage.
The dawn failed to appear this morning. There was a slight lightening of the sky, more a change of grayscale shade that a shift in time-honored by the sun. The crows seemed to notice, why else would they stay silent, so unlike most days when the first rays of sun were the call to take up the cacophony chorus. Even the squirrels noticed, and hid in the trees, knowing this was not a normal day, but soon emerged when the siren’s call of nuts outweighed their fear. We trod on into the park, picking our way through the piled snow, cursing winters cruel approach, our path lit by our fading memory of summer.
Tomorrow the morning will arrive as it always does, eating the last vestiges of night, painting the sky in puce and crimson. It will foretell the rain that will carry our dreams down the hill and into storm sewers, eventually to wash into the lake. But in that moment when the sky is ablaze, none of that matters, save the beauty of dawn.
He screwed up his face into the scowl that fairly shouted to all, “Don’t Ask!”.
She knew better but knew also that she had no choice, “What’s the matter now?”
“It’s just,” he said, softening a bit, “that I so seldom get the weather I need, much less the weather I want, it’s never the sort I ask, no matter how nicely I put it.”
She threw caution to the wind, smiled and said, “It isn’t, of course, that the weather isn’t what you ask, it most certainly almost always is. It is simply that the weather is perfect and you always show up in precisely the wrong place to enjoy it.”