Reflections from the Swamp
Somewhere in the warm south, the geese are beginning to feel restless. The days are getting longer. The call of the Great North is getting louder. Soon a collective consciousness will envelop the geese, and they will lift into the air and begin their journey home.
Last Wednesday was Ash Wednesday. Some of us have memories of Pancake Tuesday, a season of Lent, painted Easter eggs and Easter bonnets.
Many of my Catholic traditions have eroded with the winds of time. Lent, the 40-day interval before Easter, starting with the ashes on the forehead, still lingers. The season of lent, with its challenge to change those parts of our lives that need transformation, is a time of faith and hope. Lent, which means spring, captures that part of our souls that waits in hope for a new life, spring, and for me, the return of the geese.
The hope for the return of the geese to the pond in Corkery is Nature’s way of celebrating Lent. It takes courage for the geese to leave the warmth behind and fly off into the unknown. The eggs hidden within the geese will fulfill the promise of the cycle of life. Like the geese, we long for the green grass of spring.
Spirituality is about honouring the human journey, loving it, and living it in all its wonder. Nature spirituality takes us and all of life through the profound interplay of death, birth and life cycles. Life fills us with joy, pain, and wonder.
Canada Geese moult and grow new feathers, and fly again. So can we.
The following are a few verses from a poem I wrote several years ago about the spiritual journey of geese. For me, they capture the spiritual nature of migrating geese.
THE GIFT UNOPENED
Sometimes mythical with their golden eggs.
Able to live in two worlds, the physical and the spiritual,
the world of land and water and the world of air, ether, and flight
The Alpha and Omega
The heralds of new beginnings
And the trumpets that mark the end times
Of life in the natural world
The Eggs freshly lay in the reeds,
Beneath downy feathers, protected from the storms
above, warm and hopeful.
The Alpha waits its turn in the cycle of life
A blue-green egg
Radiating its golden lustre
Able to live in two worlds
The physical and the spiritual
Nestled between the stars, which move like reeds
Across the heavens