G for Grace

Yes, G is for grace, goodness, god, garrulousness and granola. But today I am grateful for Geese. Growing up in Canada is pretty special. Although I was born in the tropics, I spent my childhood in view of the Rockies, but as soon as I could leave Cowtown I did and travelled all across this large country, marvelling at its distances and bare bones beauty. One place that always took forever to get through was Ontario, with its lakes, forests, dirty towns, space station landscapes, and those big old birds.

When you see the geese in March you know that the season that smells like dog shit is upon us. Spring in most of Canada is a tortuous affair, where small flowers creep out of the snowy ground and blind you with their bright determination to be alive. The geese have increased in population recently, but they still fly south in the fall and north in the spring.

When I had a farm, we had a filthy pond where the geese lived. Family myths among the kids grew in that pond, daring rescues from near-drowning. When we would argue, which was often back then, the geese would take up the spirit of the screaming match and they would start to holler too. The kids tell me now they were afraid of the geese, but I never was. They knew I had the upper hand, in the form of a rope and a sharp knife. Mama kills.

Our geese on the farm were big and white, with bright orange feet and beaks, not like the dark and smaller Canada geese of our home.


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