A few nights ago I was struggling. It was one of those days where I felt like I had had enough. Being a single father can weigh on you. It seemed as if everyone needed something from me and I couldn’t deliver. I was dangling at the end of my rope over a pond full of alligators and I was losing my grip.
As a respite, I went to a favorite spot in my office. It’s a window dormer where I have a special altar in honor of my late wife Joanne. I knelt down and began to ask my Higher Power for more strength. I questioned everyone and everything I could think of. The tears came for the first time in many months.
As I leaned on the altar motionless and spent, I could feel the cold air coming through the window seams and I could hear the leaves rustling in the night breeze. I was waiting for an answer. I was waiting for more strength. I was waiting for anything I could get my arms around.
Just then I heard it. Off in the distance were familiar sounds. They were getting louder and closer. Canadian Geese!
With my eyes still closed, my mind wandered back to a story I read many years ago, before my life changed in an instant. Here’s the story reprinted for you to enjoy:
Lessons from the Geese
This fall, when you see Geese heading south for the winter, flying along in “V” formation, you might consider what science has discovered as to why they fly that way. As each bird flaps its wings, it creates uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in “V” formation the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.
When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front.
When the Head Goose gets tired, it rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point.
Geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
Finally, and this is important, when a goose gets sick, or is wounded by gunshots and falls out of formation, two other geese fall out with that goose and follow it down to lend help and protection. They stay with the fallen goose until it is able to fly, or until it dies. Only then do they launch out on their own, or with another formation to catch up with their group.
By Dr. Robert McNeish, 1972
As I thought about this story I realized that my answer came. Those geese were not above my house that night by happenstance. They were there at the perfect time that I needed them, divinely guided. They were there to remind me of all the people in my life who’ve uplifted me, encouraged me, took over the lead for me and finally, who fell to the ground with me and stayed with me until I could go on. What I was asking for had already been given. I just needed to be reminded.