#1009 – Dick Bernard: "Goosefeathers"*

About 8 a.m. today I was on Radio Drive, southbound, just past the intersection with Valley Creek Road in Woodbury. This is possibly the busiest intersection in our suburb of over 60,000 people.
A car in the inside lane was stopped, delaying traffic behind.
Sashaying across in front of the car, taking its sweet old time, was a Goose, one of many who, despite all man-made efforts, return every year, and will populate the intersection for some time, laying eggs, and guiding young goslings across these same streets, mostly safely, until they’re old enough to fly.
Like all his siblings, brothers and sisters, cousins, and so on, this goose was in no hurry. “I have the right of way”.
Of course, I see these geese every year, generation after generation, taking up residence in their temporary home at Woodbury’s busiest intersection. Nothing seems to work in moving them.
How they came to prefer our suburb, I don’t know. My guess is, though, that they are regulars, probably the egg is imprinted with a GPS code for that very intersection in our town, much as likely happens with salmon, and monarch butterflies and on and on and on.
It probably happens with we humans too…though we’re too arrogant to acknowledge that we’re imprinted with patterns, too, that enable or bedevil us our whole lives.
Maybe I’m thinking about this a bit more, since ten minutes before I saw that goose, I was writing a letter to someone who was making suggestions about how I should handle my recently deceased Uncle’s affairs out in North Dakota. As readers of this space know, he never married, and his bequest to me was to handle his final affairs, relating to land, personal property et al.
My correspondent, a relative from a distant state, to whom I was replying, said “To simplify your life I would advise hiring an estate lawyer to settle the estate as we did….All matters are handled with speed and efficiency. The added bonus was we [siblings] all remained a family in the end, which was the greatest gift we all received.”
Oh, so easy, just hire a lawyer.
I have nothing against lawyers, they do provide a valuable service.
But isn’t this part of our contemporary societal problem?
We are basically disconnected, not only from family, from each other, attempting to override the basics of human relationships (bad and good) so as to make life less risky and more satisfying.
I’m thinking that maybe that solitary goose delaying the traffic this morning is happier than those of us waiting for its passage.
Then, again, there might be some useful merit in trying to modify instinctful behaviors too.
Back on the road, nearing home, I heard a thud underneath my car. It sounded ominous. I looked in my rearview mirror. A squirrel had picked the wrong time to cross the road.
Have a great day.
* – “Goosefeathers” came to mind when I was titling this post. I looked it up to see if it appears as a saying somewhere. No conclusive results. On the other hand, I remember the saying “horsefeathers” as a kid. It’s definition doesn’t fit my use of goosefeathers, but I’m not writing about a horse, anyway….

2 replies
  1. dthoferngmail.com
    dthoferngmail.com says:

    I believe that the goose population in general is becoming more Republican, thus explaining their increasing population in Woodbury.

    • admin
      admin says:

      A most interesting theory, David. I’ll take it under advisement, considering the source! The word from the blog post that fits your comment: “horsefeathers”! I won’t tell the local geese that you often are at the same coffee place in Woodbury as I am, maybe even today. If they knew, and saw your car, they may block traffic for hours.


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