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Headed South for the Winter

Though not a post about Idaho, I couldn't resist sharing photos from today's walk in the park in west Texas! The Canadian geese have migrated south for their warm winter stay all across the western U.S. As a young boy I remember looking to the northern skies and marveling at the sheer number of birds flocking together, filling the sky and my ears with the sound of tens of thousands of calls. To think these geese had flown thousands of miles, to then choose the pond near my home to spend the next several months of their lives, fascinated me. I would wonder what made this place so special to them. They had made this place special to me! I loved to ride my bike to the lake and watch them for hours. They were full of grace and beauty as they flew or swam in the calm waters. Though they appeared to look the same, I could sense their uniqueness, their personalities, and could hear subtle differences in their calls. I would watch some fly alone or with another, perhaps injured, attempting to reconnect with their flock who had long departed. How would they find each other? What was driving them? How did they know which way to go? We rely so much upon our technology and our tools. What would it be like to rely solely on instinct and memory, and most importantly on each other?

The geese shared this pond with local ducks who have graciously opened their home to the weary travelers. The ducks, far more used to humans than the geese, followed us on our tour around the lake and watched curiously as I photographed. The geese floated opposite of us across the lake, wary of our closeness to the water. How different of lives we all live: the geese, the ducks, us humans, and yet we are connected. Brought together by this pond, a place of life and safety for them, and for us, recreation? Perhaps I look too deeply into life and nature. These are just geese after all. Many find them annoying and aggressive. Perhaps so, but they are beautiful, and alive! What a thought. Sentience, these birds are alive and have blessed my life in the smallest way, by just being! How much do we bless the lives of those around us by simply being alive, by gracing others' lives with our presence, though seemingly unnoticed or unappreciated. You make a difference! Someone notices.

For now, I leave you with this: "Happiness is not about getting what you like, happiness has a lot to do with liking what you get." -Gaur Gopal Das, and today's pictures. Enjoy!!

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Your words and photographs are absolutely stunning. You beautifully capture the essence and profound grace of life. Thank you so much for sharing your heart warming and thought provoking perspective ❤️

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