JEFF EWING on "Under Sandhill Cranes"
Every time a turkey walks past my window, which is often, I think how they used to be rare. You could find them in the foothills, if you knew where to look and could move quietly. They were considered intelligent, elusive; now they’re everywhere and don’t have the sense to stay out of traffic. Time falls away like that, the world changing in unforeseen ways. Even old habits drop out of use. Cobwebs form in a fireplace that in the past burned regularly. A big branch falls from an old oak—the light changes as a result, shade patterns alter. It gets cold, but we have central heat now so the firewood sits in its basket. We pack some of my daughter’s old toys and clothes into boxes. Similar boxes—still older and falling apart—sit in the back hallway of my mother’s house. Time kicks ahead like a kid on a new bike. Continuity isn’t everything, but there’s a measure of reassurance in the yearly return of a migrating flock passing over the house that’s listing a little on its plot, and whose chimney, to be honest, could use re-mortaring.