"Why am I restless?" he asked. "Why do I have this feeling in my blood?"
"Wait and see," she said mysteriously. "Tomorrow, perhaps, or the day after...."
- T.H. White, The Once and Future King
We passed beneath the thick overhanging urban arbors of Third Street, down-slope from the park. The sky was so blue as to almost pass into purple, and the wind carried the slight spice of browning leaves in its chill breeze. The streets were mostly weekend quiet, until we walked by a particularly noisy, bird-thronged tree that rattled with a riot of squawks and twitters. The whole block echoed with constant conversation, all the birds flitting back and forth, quarreling and laughing at one another, searching for their friends and flock-mates, making plans and executing complicated test flights above the brownstones. I could hear the restlessness in their voices, in the way they seemed to be gathering momentum for a great journey.
I could picture the moment, maybe not today, but tomorrow, perhaps the day after that, when they would rise up, without any one leader giving the signal or calling a vote. At first one at a time, then in groups, then, suddenly, en masse, up into the sky they'd go, impelled by something they did not know and could not understand, a giant cloud of them, all of one mind, heading south, fleeing the coming cold, knowing-without-knowing where they were going, turning the wheel of the seasons on into fall.