And so to bed!
I heard them long before I saw them. Rusty sounds like an antiquated car horn. In the sky was the unmistakeable ‘v’ shaped arrow. The geese have packed their bags and are heading out of here! Off to warmer climes; traversing valleys, oceans, and mountain tops. How on earth do they know when, and how do they know how? Their internal body clock and compass always get it right. At this time of year there are over 4000 species of bird on the move, that’s 40 % of the world avian population. I’d hate to be in air traffic control! Those that choose to stay rather than migrate, are going through a transformation; losing summer plumage in favour of soft downy feathers that trap the air close to their skin to help them keep warm. Some will come out of their wardrobe change looking very different.
Autumn is my favourite season. It’s a busy time but it’s a bit like getting ready for bed. For many of us who are blessed; our home is secured, the bed is made and we tumble in with full bellies and appropriate night attire. Sleep takes over and does its’ restorative thing. The birds and animals are doing the same, securing their winter residence; be it a tiny hole in the wall or a burrow under- ground; changing their attire into something more appropriate and fattening themselves up to see them through their protracted slumber.
There are many parallels that can be drawn from the natural world. The migrating geese remind me of community. On their long flight, they take it in turns to be the leader so that each is supported to play their role at the right time. Penguins tightly huddle together against the bitter Antarctic storms, and rotate the outside members of the vast group, so each one has some respite. Be it instinct, intuition or some kind of genuine fellow feeling; each one makes their contribution and others are cared for. If community is important to those fellas, then how much more it is to us. When they need it, we can offer the person at the front our place at the back, or the one on the outside our place in the warm. A more restful season will soon be upon us all. We may find that when we come out of this one, our community will look a little different – as with the creatures around us donning a new coat. By our each playing our vital part and looking out for each other, it will still be our community non the same.