All Saints’ Sunday, November 3
They are overhead even now, making a racket as they chant Texas, Texas, Texas. The high cold air brushes the tips of their wings. It’s not a journey to make alone, so they stay in formation, each taking a turn as leader, honking encouragement to the leader, or drafting on the uplift created by the bird ahead. If one falls out of formation, it soon discovers the difficulty of flying without that help. They have so far to go, they need every advantage.
And it’s time to go. Even a caged goose knows when it’s time and will hop around the cage. Migratory birds fly astounding distances—demoiselle cranes fly over the Himalayas, Arctic terns fly from pole to pole. Snow geese fly from their breeding grounds on Baffin Island, above the Arctic Circle, to Eagle Lake, Texas, carrying within them a powerful sense of home.
No one has to explain to a goose about the cold or the miles or the hardship. It knows all about weal and woe.
This article is available to subscribers only. Please subscribe for full access—subscriptions begin at $2.95. Already have an online account? Log in now. Already a print subscriber? Create an online account for no additional cost.