When you step out into traffic on a busy road in my neighbourhood with your hand up telling them to stop, you know you are making drivers mad – until they see why. We are escorting a family of geese across the road.
I was folding laundry upstairs this morning when my 13 year old son called to me to come and see the ducks on the sidewalk, walking to school. I thought he meant the kids walking to the school across the street. He called again with more vigour. I couldn’t believe my eyes: two adults and five yellow goslings were making their way down the sidewalk, crossed the road, and started to head down another street.
Now this is usually the time when I head out for a walk to the ravine and the North Saskatchewan river that runs through my city, before I sit down to work. Today, I followed the geese – they seemed to know where they were going.
Their route was taking them directly through a construction area, where city contractors are fixing pipes, sidewalks and roads in our neighbourhood. They stopped between a couple of houses, perhaps because of the noise and bustle of the construction site and heavy machinery. I zipped ahead to tip off one of the workers and instantly, this young man wanted to know where they were, spotted them, then went to talk to his boss. Before I knew it, the contractors stopped their work.
The geese walked right through the construction area.
Being geese, they don’t know that the road is closed, or that the next two roads they need to cross are each four lanes of busy traffic. The young construction worker, an older construction worker and I took it upon ourselves to stop the traffic, allowing a safe crossing.
We did not direct the geese; they knew where they were going. We just stepped out into traffic.
And the drivers of those cars loved it.
Nature is right smack in the middle of our city. And when we least expect it, even when it gets in the way of our schedules and slows us down, we love it.
Maybe in slowing us down, Nature is giving us an opportunity to notice what we love.
Nature is tapping us on the shoulder today, reminding us that we choose what to breathe live into – in others and ourselves.
Those geese knew where they were going. Do you?
And the older construction worker, say 50 years old, walked with them to the ravine to make sure they got there. That was the right thing to do.