Following the lead of the geese
To read more of retired Gainesville educator Jane Elder’s blog, Ozark Road, visit gainesvillemo.blogspot.com.
One of my favorite sights and sounds of fall is the flocks of geese flying overhead...going south for the winter. This morning on my walk I could hear their call before I saw them. It always amuses me when I look up and have to circle around before I see that familiar V-formation up above me.
It was fairly cloudy early, and they were hiden from sight for a few minutes. Then the clouds broke away, and there they were...a thin, ragged line headed to their new destination...following the leader.
If you pay close attention to the geese, you’ll see that the leader changes almost minute by minute. I have read articles...and a few inspirational quotes and anecdotes ... about the flight of geese. As I watched, I became aware of something else. Not only did the leader change, but sometimes there was a smaller V inside the larger one. The arms of the formation are usually not equal. It’d almost like a ballet how they swerve and sway as they fly. First this way and then another direction. All in the plan.
And they may vary in their path south. Headed for the river, they may suddenly turn west and head for the hills of Arkansas. Amazing. But that inner compass keeps them on track. They know where they’re going. They might get side-tracked once in a while. But not very often.
I love to hear them calling to each other. I imagine they’re saying, “A little to the right there, Bill. Now a little to the left, Marge.” All in the plan.
Too bad we don’t have an inner compass like that. Oh..wait...yes, we do! Too bad we don’t follow it as faithfully as the geese as they fly on their long journey south.