Reflections Underfoot

By: Julie Day

Geese standing on frozen pond
This past week, I encountered a Christmas Miracle – geese walking on water! Actually, it wasn’t a true miracle, but it was one of those one-in-a-million moments that let you know that Nature really has an eye for art.

On this day, a bitterly-cold snowstorm paused long enough for a slight warm rain to fall, melting just enough ice to turn this pond into a sheet of reflective glass. The geese calmly walked out onto their polished floor, and one by one they plunked off the edge of the ice into the water and turned up their white bottoms to grab a few fish.

One of the things I love about geese is their natural aplomb, and this flock embodies a true spirit of nonchalance. Unfazed by the predators on a stick, unflapped by the active neighborhood dog walkers; whatever they do, they do it while broadcasting a message that can’t be interrupted.

And on this day, their lesson had nothing to do with goose droppings on your shoe or slow street crossings; on this day, their message was to stop, look, and soak in this beauty that’s only here for a few moments.

Geese swimming and standing on pondI really needed that message this year! This holiday season has been full of unexpected turns, with sudden family illness bringing us all to both a near-frenzy and a screeching halt, as family crises will do. The desire to toss off everything extraneous is as crystal clear as the reflection on this pond; and despite the circumstances, it turns out that was all I really wanted for Christmas anyway.

Soon enough, the pond had frozen solid again, the magic evaporated with the mist, and the geese casually kept doing what geese do. But I keep carrying around the memory of the pond as a stilling, peaceful image.

The photos are nice, but my mind’s eye can’t help but add in some hi-def waddling. I hope your holidays are full of similar images to bring a spoonful of serenity into your stocking!

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