Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Gaggle of Geese: Leading, Following, Caring

My New Year's resolution this year was to photograph something beautiful each day for the entire year. Interesting how quickly a little practice like that can transform a life! I never anticipated that it would evolve into taking 100 or more photos most days and increase both my awareness of beauty and my interest in photography to such degrees as it has. My iPhoto library has become my new gratitude journal. There is so much I could write about every day; it is often difficult to choose. Over the past week, I have noticed an idea popping into my head about a blog topic, and then that topic manifesting physically at some point during the day as if to nudge me along. It's pretty neat. That is the process by which I came to write about a gaggle of geese today.

Toward the end of my morning walk with my husband, we traveled over a steel bridge that crosses the river by our house just in time to see a gaggle of geese in the middle of the river navigating toward the bridge. (I was psyched to have brought along my point-and-shoot camera!)

For some reason, they decided to change direction - first the ones in front

... and then the rest.

One became alarmed 

... and then they all flew away.

I love watching the way the geese navigate, with leaders and followers and changing formations. It reminded me of a day early in June when I was kayaking near a gaggle of geese (perhaps the same one) that had been navigating the river since the goslings were old enough to swim. They all huddled near the shore when I must have come too close for comfort, with the adults surrounding the little ones on all sides.

I watched the geese navigate for quite some time, intrigued by how the adults worked together to keep the little ones safe and on course. They seemed to know instinctively when to lead and when to follow. What a wonderful and harmonious example of cooperation and teamwork.

How safe the young geese must have felt with several adults around them caring for them with such vigilance and harmony. It made me think of how it really does take a village to raise a child. It is difficult for just one or two parents to keep youth from going astray with all the threatening influences lurking in the environment each day. What a difference it would make for human children - and adults as well - to have a clan to which they feel they truly belong.  A clan consisting of several caring and committed adults working cooperatively and harmoniously for the greater good.

As is sometimes the case with human caregivers, the adult geese didn't always make the best choices; I watched the gaggle wander into the yard of a (human) family who lives on the river and get shooed away loudly and aggressively. However, with several adults working together, they maneuvered smoothly and with ease back to a safer place. They moved on.

Watching the gaggle of geese that afternoon really touched me. I found it inspiring and felt that humans have much to learn from the geese.

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

© Susan Meyer and River Bliss, 2012-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including all photos, without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Susan Meyer and River Bliss ( with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. 

No comments:

Post a Comment