Saturday, March 10, 2012

Never giving up hope

Each year several flocks of migrating Canadian Geese use our lake. One or two flocks will winter on the lake. Last year a large male broke his right wing. The outer feathers have dried up, but remain secured to the bone so that the right wing is about half the size of the other wing

broken wingWhen the rest of the flock left in the spring the goose with the bad wing had to stay behind. I found it interesting that three other geese stayed behind with it and summered on our lake. At first I would watch the goose flap its wings and when it couldn’t get off the ground it would honk continuously letting the other geese know it couldn’t go with them for their morning flight.

Since I walk my dog around the lake three-to-four times a day I see the goose quite often. I find it interesting that every morning the goose tries to fly. For much of the year the three other geese might take with the rest of the flock off each morning, but when they saw the goose still on the lake, they would turn around and land not wanting to leave it behind.

In recent weeks, however, the three other geese that stayed behind before are now flying off with the flock each morning to eat in some farmer’s field. This leaves the goose alone. As it paddles around the lake each morning it honks consistently trying to attract other geese. When the geese do return late each morning, the goose with the bad wing gets so excited because it is one of the flock again. And, for the rest of the day its three friends never leave its side.

This week, I noticed something different happening. When the flock takes off each morning, the goose with the broken wing starts running on the water while flapping its wings hoping to gain some momentum that will help lift it into the sky. It might fly for five to ten feet before falling back to the lake or grass. And as the other geese fly off through the morning mist, the goose is left behind once again.

FlockI am amazed that it never gives up trying to fly. Some instinct or desire is greater than the reality. The goose knows it must fly to survive for it is a creature of both the wind and the water.

In our world we are much like the goose with the broken wing.  Yes, we have wheelchairs, handicap-equipped vehicles, up-lift assist chairs and braces. And, we become accustomed to not being able to compete physically in our world, but we never really accept it. Like the goose, we hope for some miracle that will free us from our bindings and allow us to walk this earth once again.

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