The other day I stood in my yard when I heard that lovely sound. Against the blue sky was the familiar V-formation of a dozen geese, trumpeting their arrival like noisy guests. I watched, feeling that familiar stirring. Spring is official.
I’ve grown to love these animals. I follow their trail and wonder if other humans stop and watch their passing, paying homage to creatures that make such an incredible journey without maps, planes, or radar. Yes, they can be pests with their droppings and squawking presence, but they’re also endearing with gray bodies and white chin straps. Apparently they fly around 3000 feet up but have been spotted as high as 29,000.
In my youth I barely noticed them, too intent on playing with Barbie or flirting with the new neighborhood boy. Now in my later years I stop and savor the rhythms of nature. Compared to the frenetic human world, there’s something unhurried and soothing about the cycles of animals.
During their time here, geese will mate in fresh water lakes and ponds. Both parents will raise their goslings although the female spends more time at the nest. From time to time I see families crossing the road with one parent leading and one at the end, fluffy yellow goslings in the middle, all in a straight line.
They’ll stay for six months and then head home. The babies must be strong enough to make the journey. In October I’ll watch them leave, honking their noisy goodbyes. The sight always makes me sad. Another warm season ended. Another winter is coming.
But that’s the future. For now the geese have arrived, bellowing out their hellos. Spring is here. And I’m happy.