Monday, October 22, 2018
I was standing near my bedroom window very early one morning last week turning up the comforter on my bed when I heard a sound off in the distance. I stood perfectly still and listened. Yes, there it was again, a sound I had been anticipating ever since the had weather turned cold. It was the sound of a flock of geese. I opened the window wide, not even noticing how cold it had gotten ... enough for a light frost over night ... and looked to the sky. There, flying in perfect "V" formation, a flock of what looked like 50 or so geese, honking their way from the farmlands to the north of town towards the south. I loved that sound, even though in some way it is a sad sound, one that marks the end of light-filled days and the coming of long, dark ones. It was what I learned from one of my professors some years ago that gave me a different perspective on the sounds of the geese as they made their way south.
I had a Religion professor who had a passion for birds as a hobby. There was very little he did not know about birds, especially those that were native to the Eastern and North Eastern parts of the U.S. The reason geese are constantly honking away as they fly, he informed us, was because they were encouraging each other to keep going. If the leader got tired, he would fall back and another would take his place. If one became hurt or sick and had to land, one or two others would accompany the injured one to the ground and stay with them until they were able to take up the journey again. Somehow they knew exactly where the rest of the flock would be waiting for them, resting for the night until the following morning when they would begin again.
Once again Nature gives us a lesson wrapped up in beauty, this time the song of a flock of geese making their way across the sky. Imagine how much easier life would be if we had an entire community always there rooting for us, encouraging us to keep going in the directions of our dreams, and knowing that, if we stumble and fall, someone will always be there to stay with us until we can get back up on our feet and continue to fly. How amazing life would be then!
I am sorry to see the geese go, sorry that the days will get shorter and darker, but in my heart I hold on to that beautiful sound until the time comes when the light returns, and so do the geese as they wing their way back home. May we all keep a song in our hearts.
And so it is.