Do You Wave at the Geese?

Finally the ice and snow are receding leaving bare brown patches of ground exposed.  A few brave geese are returning to perch on the frozen sloughs in persistent hope that if they warm that patch of ice long enough they may speed the melting of the ice.  I admire their spunk and their determination.

Waving & Cheering 

Two weeks ago we noticed the first spunky pair flying over the house; I wanted to go outside waving and cheering.  Just seeing them gave me hope.  I dared to entertain the idea that spring might return to Alberta, that the trees might turn green again, and that one day soon it might be warm enough to sit outside with a drink in hand.  They must have been either the bravest geese or the most foolhardy, but regardless they were leading the way back to their nesting ground.  There were only the two geese; no large flock was in sight or hearing.  

Soon we began to see geese more frequently.  Sometimes they were just sitting the middle of a snow-covered field, other times flying overhead.  I wondered what kind of goose conversations were going on between the pair that was sitting in the field.  I imagined they might be scrapping because one had wanted to come home early and the other would have preferred to stay down south another week or two, and now look at the situation they were in. What does a goose do when everything is still frozen over and there are no water sources?  How do they find shelter when the reeds in the swake are buried in the snow?  The geese, like the humans must be very resilient to survive the vagaries of an Alberta spring.

Certain Uncertainties

There are several certainties in the uncertainty of our spring season; things we can hold fast to that give us little jolts of hope.  The first is that when the weather is most uncertain we know we are finally coming to the end of winter.  On those mornings when we are enveloped in ice fog and Josh is predicting five more centimetres of snow, we have the certainty that by the afternoon the sun will peak out again quickly melting the snowfall from the roads.  The second thing we can count on is the geese will return to the swake, jockeying for their ideal nesting spot.  The third is that one day very soon, we will look out the windows and be in awe that somehow in a matter of what seems like hours every tree in sight will have flushed its greenery.  The only thing that is uncertain from year to year is when the certainties will occur.

As of today, certainty numbers one and two have occurred so it seems safe to say that spring is
imminent by the swake.  All one must do is cling tightly to one's resiliency and wait.  Like the geese who have dared to come home ahead of the flocks, one must disregard the discomfort of a frosty backside and exercise persistent hope.  I will stand out in the snow defiantly waving and cheering for every daring goose that returns, welcoming them back and nurturing my resiliency and hope that one day soon the trees will turn green again.  As I typed that last sentence, two geese flew past my window in the early light honking their salute.  Wave to every goose you see today, take pictures, and tell me how many you see.  Let's celebrate the geese returning!  Now I must run outdoors to cheer them on.