Thursday, 9 November 2017
The Geese (coming up for nuts, 1)
Here in the Highlands, I now live beneath flight paths of a different order. It's the geese. Around now, late autumn, and again in early spring, especially March. The initial alert is often the sound of the distinctive squawking, which I can sometimes hear from even indoors. I will rush outside to catch a glimpse as they fly past in typical v-formation.
Recently the Highlands has been treated to some fine late autumn weather, and the skies have often been clear, resulting in some magnificent sights. It's not the typical animals that really get me: bears, eagles, mountain lions, whales and dolphins. It's normally plant-eaters that do it for me. Gorillas, orang-utans, rhino. Deer; and the geese.
To watch these birds fly overhead in formation is a strangely moving affair for me. I don't care much for where they've come from, or where they are going. The scientific data leave me cold. No. the mere sight of the activity is the thing. How they know what to do, where to go, their place in the formation. You never see geese arguing about who's going up front, or barging in to further their status as a special one.
There is something miraculous about the entire affair for me. What is it about the geese that brings me to tears? Maybe it is how they live through, surrender to, a power that is greater than themselves. They are in dialogue with their own living god, manifesting its unutterable magnificence. Unlike the vast majority of human beings. And that is enough....