"How good to be a duck, to float lightly on the water, the ripples touching one's feathers like gentle fingers."

Pam Brown

The Way a Family of Canada Geese Cross the Road
By: Frank L. Hoffman - 2 July 2000

Several weeks ago, while I was in Streetsboro, Ohio, an associate of mine was driving us to the job site of an assisted living facility which was still under construction.  It's located near the Frost Road exit of Interstate 480.  On the west side of the exit is a lake which has a population of Canada Geese.  And like so many of us humans, a Canada Goose seems to think that the grass is greener on the other side of the road, for several families of them were grazing in the grassy area between the Interstate and the local road that separated them from the lake.

By the time we arrived on the scene, these families had decided to return to the lake.  They were all gathered together on the east side of the Hudson Aurora Road waiting for an opportunity to cross over to the lake side.  During a short lull in the early morning traffic, just as we were arriving, a father stepped out onto the road and walked to the center with his wings spread out like a school crossing guard.  We stopped, as did the car heading in the opposite direction.  When this Canada Goose was convinced that it was safe for his family to cross the road, he signaled to his wife, while at the same time he dropped his wings and stood with his head held high.  Mom started to cross the road with her children close behind, or at least most of them. 

During this time Dad kept alternately looking at us and the driver of the other car to make sure that we weren't going to move until his family was safely across the road.  He didn't look at the cars.  Instead, he looked us squarely in the eyes, knowing that we would signal our intentions before our cars ever started to move.  Once Mom and most of the kids were safely on the other side, Dad left his sentinel position and hurried his straggling kids safely across the road.

As some of you may have noticed, I have not used human-derived "goose terms" (such as "gander" and "gosling"  to describe this family, because these geese behaved as human families are supposed to behave.  I also referred to Mom as Dad's wife, for Canada Geese mate for life, unlike 50% of us humans.

I believe that God shows us these things as a reminder of how we are to live.  If these geese can listen to God concerning how to raise and protect their families, shouldn't we do so, too, since we consider ourselves to be a "higher" form of life? 

As a "higher" form of life, we have been given a free will, as I believe these Canada Geese also have.  However, some of us choose to destroy such loving families in the name of "sport", or to eliminate a supposed "problem".  Is this an example of a "higher" form of life?   I don't believe so.  To me, it only points out our defects. 

If we would only open our eyes and hearts to truly see and understand God's messages through such occurrences as these geese presented, we would have a much more loving, compassionate, and peaceful world.

Let us pray that we all become more attentive to God's messages of love and compassion.  Amen.

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