A LESSON IN LOVE, LOSS AND COMMUNITY , FROM A WINGED MESSENGER
My 12 acres of horse pasture also serve as home to many four-legged wild animals and a respite for winged ones. Swallows, geese and other migratory pairs come to procreate each year at our farm. This year, a mated pair of Canada geese hatched two healthy goslings. The parents watched over their young ones diligently, taking them for swims, walks, and introducing them to visiting flocks that were just passing through. Their parenting skills were impeccable, and I became quite attached to this little family, always observing them at a respectful distance. I enjoyed them all the more because I knew as the goslings reached maturation, they and their parents would soon fly away.
One day I noticed the parents without their “teenage children” and wondered if the goslings had flown up and into the trees (do geese even do that?). Later that afternoon while visiting the horses in the pasture I found the remains of one of the goslings, its life lost to a night predator. A week later I found the remains of the second gosling who had met the same fate. I felt devastated for the couple who had taken such diligent care of their precious young. I was surprised that the parents – with no more reason to stay on the farm – did not leave.
One day while observing them from afar, I used my animal communication skills to ask the parents why they were still here. I was moved to tears by what they shared with me.
We cannot fly with broken hearts.
Canada geese are strong flyers, traveling very long distances on their annual migrations, yet this couple could not take to the air because the weight of their loss rendered them incapable of flight. What impressed me most by this pair of geese whose young had been killed was their ability to love and care for one another in the midst of grief and pain so great it kept them from flying, the very thing they were born to do.
The tenderness they showed each other, the time they took to heal before moving on, the wisdom of knowing their wings had been clipped by sorrow, was something I had not experienced with animals before. The depth of their care, devotion, and love for each other was something I felt should be so natural and normal among living beings, and yet at the same time made me question how we as humans – the “superior” species – can be so naturally unkind and uncaring to one another.
Many of my own clients have shared with me how the animals are their preferred companions and I can honestly say, “I GET it!” And that’s because while the human race has lost its way, the animal kingdom has not. Animals have so much to teach us, if only we will listen! Never in a million years did I expect that a pair of geese would model for me the way humans should behave toward each other after experiencing a trauma. As an animal communicator, I feel an obligation to share these messages with a fractured human community that seems to have “grown cold” to love itself.
There is strength, value and protection in community, but there can be no community without connection. And there can be no connection without communication. It all starts there. Through their communication, those geese connected me not just to them, but to my own human community. They made me reflect upon my friends who have lost children, perhaps the most grievous loss of all. Before the goslings were born, the two parents allowed me to get quite close to them. But after their offspring were killed, they seemed to retreat, choosing to be far away from me and even the horses. And yet, in their disconnection they were still connected – to each other and (because I asked) to me – and that’s a lesson for all of us, isn’t it? How many of us are unable to move forward because of the emotional weight we carry? How can we connect to each other and our community in a way that is healing, helpful and hopeful?
We are all animal communicators whether we believe it or not. Every one of us has the ability to hear and learn from animals if we will open ourselves to the experience. Having a “True Connection” absolutely depends on your ability to communicate with another, whether it is a horse or a human being. It is the vital key to unlocking the potential in your relationships.
It is work to show kindness in a world of unkindness, to care about others as much as we care about ourselves. But when we do – when we can rise against the tide of violence and apathy that is tearing us apart – we connect and create the community that helps sustain us. There is no denying the fundamental truth, that what we do to another we do to ourselves. So as we communicate, let’s do it in the spirit of connection, of creating community, and let us let the animals show us the way.
Keep connected & shining!,
Linda & The Herd