It’s an annual rite of spring – the return of Canada geese from sunny southern parts to our Canadian western plains. Our big birds arrived this week just in time for Easter celebrations. We found them eagerly seeking out patches of open water. Surprise – the geese were met by great icy stretches of white frozen fields and ponds and snow drifts as big as mountains. It’s been a long winter. Snow and ice have been reluctant to leave. I had to laugh watching the antics of the Canada geese in response to the landscape. They seemed to stare down at the snow everywhere with dismay, almost willing it to ‘take off, eh?’ These birds are famous for pairing up and mating for life, and I watched as one male bird would take a ‘lead’, padding on snowbanks, then suddenly sink up to his belly. Honk! honk-honk! Squawk! His ‘wife’ shook her head. The bird quickly plucked up a webbed foot, and got out on the snow again. Testing it out. One step at a time. A snowshoeing lesson in patience.
On the Canadian plains, we always know we can trust that regardless of how things look, when the first Canada geese arrive back ‘home’, Spring is ‘here to stay’. In a matter of days, we can expect temperatures to rise and stay steady above the zero mark. And we can shout ‘hurrah!’ as the last trickle of snowmelt disappears.
And as we welcome the Canada geese, we also learn to wait with patience for the first fragrant flowers of Springtime to appear. The day lilies, tulips and almost imperceivable delicate bell-like white bloom of the lily of the valley.
Canada geese…and spring lilies. Lessons in ‘waiting’…And always worth the wait.