You Are Goose Kin Meditation

The geese are returning to their summer homes,

the lake next door and northward,

creating great air shows in the sky,

flying Vs above my head as they pass,

arrows pointing onward, onward, onward.

Shapes of shadows like weather.

It’s a goosey day today.

And if I’m honest, sometimes the chorus of honks

is a bit.. too… much

A bit too close to the sound of aggressive driving – 

traffic jams I came to the woods to escape.

But this honk is different.

Canada Geese honk when they fly as a way of keeping the flock together.  It’s not Watch Out, or Outta my way!!

It’s:

We are here.

We are here.

We are here.

We got this.

We got this.

We got this.

Keep going.

Keep going.

Keep going.

Joni Mitchell sang: See the geese in chevron flight flapping and racing on before the snow

They’ve got the urge for going and they’ve got the wings so they can go.

Not all geese migrate, but those that do like to return to the place they were born.  

They remember.  With beaks at once both chunky and sleek, they face the future, the journey and speak.

Geese honk their ancient memories of home when they fly as a way of 

keeping 

the flock 

together.  

And we look to our Goose kin for lessons in teamwork.

They fly in V formations to reduce the strain of travel for all of them. Each bird, each flap of wings creating lift for their fellow birds, allowing them to fly further with less effort. 

We are Goose kin.  Together, we are Aerodynamic.  When we lift each other up we all fly farther.  Easier.  

Geese take turns in leadership roles.  Every bird in every flock gets a chance to be that front bird, that pointed tip of the arrow.  And when the leader gets tired, they fall back, knowing another teammate is ready to take the position.  And if one goose is very, very tired, or injured or sick, two more will stay behind until their friend is ready to fly again.  

Though generally quite sociable, geese are territorial as fuck when they have something they want to protect: their young, their nest, thier dreams, their goals.

And you too.  

Your boundaries are your birthright.  

What Christena Cleveland calls The Holy No.  

Geese are non-singing birds.  They do not sin g.  They shout. 

“The Canada Goose has an intricate system of vocal communication, and their repertoire includes 13 different calls for adults… The types of call include Honking, Hucka, Snore, and Cackle.”

Honking, Hucka, Snore, and Cackle, and sometimes they hisssssss.

Geese, said Kevin McGowan, an ornithologist at Cornell University, are  “not something to be trifled with.”   And neither are you.  You are Goose kin.

Honking, Hucka, Snore, and Cackle.  

Witches cackle too.

Multiple families of geese join together to form larger groups called gaggles – geese look out for each other. And so do we.  We are Goose kin.  We are Gaggle.

Together gaggles form armies of mutual aid.  

This time last year my partner and I stood on the grass, marveling as hundreds of Canada geese cast great black silhouettes, their honking shouts drowning out the sound of even our thoughts. Then, like artillery fire they unleashed a hailstorm of shit that sent us running for cover.  My partner took the most damage, gagging at the sight of his arms, covered in streaks of gray green goose poop slime, while I screamed with laughter. Honking, Hucka, Snore, and Cackle. 

Once my partner was working on the roof when a flock passed over, so close he could almost touch their dinosaur feathered wings, describing the smell as that of sewage.  

We are goose kin and together we find the courage to let…our…shit…go.  Collectively drop whatever is weighing us down.  In teams, families, in Gaggles and Covens we find our Goose kin whose communal energy feeds us, and the rest… we let that shit go as we fly.  

In “Wild Geese” poet Mary Oliver wrote:

You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting – over and over announcing your place in the family of things. 

You are Goose Kin.

Keep going.  

You’ve got wings so you can go.

Honking, Hucka, Snore, and Cackle.  Witch cackle.

You are goose kin.  

The work is hard.  You will sweat, you will stink.  You will fall behind.

But You will let that shit go

as you join together with other goose witches and choir honk your being for the world to hear.  In great chorus together, today we do not sing, we shout:

Honking, Hucka, Snore, and Cackle. 

We are Goose Kin.

We’ve got wings.

We are here.

We are not to be trifled with.

We are Gaggle.

We got this. 

Let that shit go.

Keep going.

Honking, Hucka, Snore, and Cackle.

You are goose kin, announcing your place in the family of things. 

.

https://www.billgosling.com/blog/5-things-geese-can-teach-you-about-teamwork

https://pages.vassar.edu/sensoryecology/canada-goose-vocalizations/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/04/25/canada-geese-attacks-population-aggressive/550135002/

https://pages.vassar.edu/sensoryecology/canada-goose-vocalizations/

http://www.phys.unm.edu/~tw/fas/yits/archive/oliver_wildgeese.html

https://freesound.org/people/Kinoton/sounds/423346/

https://freesound.org/people/ahill86/sounds/207122/