In that early morning moment, between sleep and waking, I heard them. Softly at first, a far-away, muffled sound. Then more clearly ... there! There it is again! I wasn't dreaming. I sat up in bed and looked out of the window. A thick fog had descended over the hills beyond and wafted over the street below like a gauzy curtain. I got up, grabbed my glasses and moved closer to the window. As if on cue there was a parting in the mist like a curtain being pulled back on a stage, and there they were: about 20 or 30 geese flying in that perfect "V" that only they can do. Their voices called out to each other as they moved across the sky. It was official: Fall was here. I don't care what it says on the calendar or how high the temperature is still likely to go for at least the next few weeks. When the geese are on the move, Fall is right behind them.
Some years ago during a team-building exercise at my place of employment, we read about geese as an example of how to work together. All the noise and cacophony that geese send out as they journey to warmer climates is their way of encouraging each other to keep going. If one falls behind, or becomes ill and can't fly, one or more will land with them so that they are not alone as they rest and heal. When the leader gets tired, someone else will automatically move up and take his place. Moment by moment, day by day, they cheer each other on. That is how they have survived since the beginning, by working together as a team for the good of all.
I love the sound of the geese. To some it may be noise, but to me it is music. It is the music of Fall, of brilliant foliage, of fresh-picked apples and pumpkin flavored everything! Of crisp days dressed in comfy sweats visiting the pumpkin farm and enjoying the blessings of the harvest. It is also a sound that reminds me of what can be accomplished when we work together for the good of all. I firmly believe that if we all just stood still long enough to study the behavior of our animal relations we would find examples of how to make this a better world. In this case, it is a community that cheers you on, that reminds you "great job, keep going, we've got your back," and that stays with you when you need a break. It's called family. It's called community. It's called peace.
I know there will be many more early mornings ahead when the music of the geese will come through the morning mist and sing me awake. I am grateful for them all. It's like they are calling to me to get up, keep going, good job! When you think about it, it's way better than an alarm clock, wouldn't you agree?
And so it is.