From bed I watched the dawn light slowly illuminate Reba’s lovingly manicured Mediterranean garden and the mountain beyond – blissfully grateful for the Eden we call home. The first rays of light sparked on the oranges just turning golden against the deep green leaves of the trees.

Hummingbirds zipped through the dewy foliage searching for a first taste of nectar. Yesterday’s light afternoon rain left the palm trees glistening and Mount San Jacinto dusted with snow. Today, blue sky overhead, promised a picture postcard perfect day in paradise. For the first time this fall I tugged grandmother’s quilt up from the end of the bed and over Reba’s slumbering shoulders.

As I lolled in bed thinking about making coffee and listening to Reba’s soft breathing I heard them. But Maggie heard them first.  She popped her head up from a tightly curled ball snuggled right beside my darling. Then in one leap she hurtled from the bed to the window all cat vigilante.  Faint at first and then progressively louder the honk, honk, honk of geese heading south.  Reba, now upright in bed, Maggie on her hind legs stretching up the slider glass, whiskers on high alert, and nose twitching to take in any detection of what was causing the fast approaching cacophony and me scrambling out from under covers. In a flash we were all three out the door peering skyward just in time to see the low flying V arrowed southward.

Right above the boisterous honking and relentless flapping of the snow bird’s wings perfectly expressed our joy in the coming of fall and the most sublime season in Rancho Mirage.