The Perfect V

You know how there are some things that are  just so achingly beautiful to you, but you can’t really explain why? And you sometimes feel like perhaps you’re a little strange for finding beauty in something so…normal? And you wonder…does something so small and trivial strike a chord in anyone else?

That’s how I feel about geese. Canadian geese. In the winter.

I absolutely love the part of winter that includes the haunting sound of geese honking high above as they seek warmer weather. Seeing the vast “V” in the sky as the lead goose beats hard against the air currents, breaking a path for the rest of the geese. Watching as they trade off for the duty of being in the lead–the hardest and most tiring job. Randomly one goose from further back in the tails of the “V” will break loose and fly faster to the front and make a trade off for the hard job, allowing the other to rest. Somehow they know precisely when it’s their turn and they take their turn with (apparently) no complaining.

Etched against the cold silvery gray sky, seeing that “V” makes my heart soar.

I have noticed, though, that it’s rare to see a perfectly shaped “V”. Some flocks of Canadian geese seem to have some problems coming to agreement on exactly which letter of the alphabet they’re really supposed to be. Others appear to, perhaps, be at a more elementary stage of handwriting. Then there are the flocks whose parents apparently didn’t instill in them the importance of doing their job and doing it well–pure laziness ensues, and the “V” falls apart.

Today, though, I saw an absolutely perfect “V” of Canadian geese. And somehow, that perfect “V” along with their elegiac honking, made me smile as I stepped out of my car and looked toward the sky. Mountains with snowy caps were etched in the background, the hazy smoke from someone’s wood stove permeated the air, and the gray-ness of the day made everything cozy…and there across the sky stretched a beautiful picture of God’s creation doing exactly as they were created to do.

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