Gander sat high on a rock belting out his counsel. Periodically, I wondered about his relentless message. Finally I gave up, thinking that one day the experience would hold more relevance.

A small group resurrected the memory. We had gathered for a visit when a friend, saddled with bulging backpacks, walked in late. I could have sworn I saw Gander following close behind. What was stuffed in the bags? Was it disappointments, lingering childhood wounds or perhaps neglected trauma?

The meeting was casual. After our friend’s entrance; however, the energy soon escalated from rational to win/lose. Clearly, the burdened one needed a scapegoat. Who would it be this time?

Our friend seemed to be suffering beyond an ability to consider differing viewpoints. Admittedly, some of us were weary of repeated escalating emotions creeping up on our otherwise quiet, productive lives. We wanted to respond in a loving manner, but apart from the other sharing with us, what could we do? We allowed the situation to speak into our own lives?

When there is more tension than grace, trusting does not come naturally. Something freed me, though. I think it was Spirit Gander.

“What is your message?” I asked Gander. Although he did not answer in specifics, he gave a few insights to ponder.

  • Goslings imprint on the first living thing they see, as Mother. Like geese, we too, live into templates, early on. Our failure to let go of misguided paradigms eventually leads us away from our truest callings. Often, for the sake of belonging, we faithfully pledge allegiance to beliefs that are no longer useful, causing us to miss opportunities for newness of life.
  • Geese are loyal to a point of undue possessive-ness. They honk and peck to protect their own. Was our friend’s tightfisted grip on control rooted in a more innocent fear? It was a lesson for all of us: Let go of the things that are no longer necessary for the journey.
  • Because geese rotate within their wedge, it begged questions concerning leading and replenishing. Knowing the many responsibilities and challenges within our group, I looked around and wondered who would choose each position.

It takes extraordinary circumstances for geese to completely give up on an injured goose or gander in their gaggle. Rather than working too hard on understanding the situation, we chose to let go of any overly sensitive emotions and live into hope-filled grace.

Sacred Ruminations*