Here in Minnesota geese are moving south. Wherever I am, when I hear that characteristic honking of geese on the move I instantly stop what I am doing– look up if I am outside or run to the window if inside–DRIVEN to FIND them in the sky and watch, exhilarated, as the V of birds sweep by overhead, winging in unison. For 60 years the call of the geese has never failed to silence me, to compel me to locate, gaze and admire, until they disappear from sight.
Why does this never get old? I’ve certainly “been there-seen that” many, many times. The part of me that hates winter doesn’t want to face what these geese know. And while I am an admirer of earth’s many creatures, birds do not have a special place among them for me. Yet the noisy honking of the geese pulls me to them every time. Gaping in wonder, as if I had never seen them before.
Is this common? I don’t know; I haven’t talked about this much. Though seldom have I seen others stop and gape as I do. Do you? I’d love to know how many others are as captivated as I am.
What is it that pulls us to them? What does our body know that our minds cannot understand? Is it some irresistible combination of Beauty and Wildness that echoes within our cellular memory from the ancient past?
I like that idea—a communion of creatures drawn to each other by their shared Beauty, Wildness, and ancient home upon Earth. A communion so compelling that for a bit the world of words and cars and business falls away and leaves only wings and wild cries.
As the poet David Whyte says in his poem The Journey:
has to be
so you can find
the one line