My in-laws have a home along the river. This section of the river is called a lake, because it sits between two dams, at least one of which is a power plant. There are times when it looks like a raging river and other times, a very peaceful still lake.
My husband had finally gotten to take his overdue vacation time and spent it camping along the river, down below the house. I spent much of that time with him. Once the Labor Day weekend was completed and most of the weekend visitors had gone home, all became quite quiet and still, and oh so peaceful (Beautiful solitude!). I’ve always loved being down there, sitting on the dock, just being gently rocked by the waves, reading, praying or just taking in the scenery, always with an eye on alert for one of the resident eagles, ospreys and such, to pass by.
September 2nd was one of those quiet peaceful mornings, when almost all was still. Goose hunting had opened up the day before, but with people on the river, the hunters seemed to wait till Tuesday morning. My husband was one of those who got up early, along with one of his nephews who came down for the morning, and headed out on the river. I was quite tired, and laid back down for about an hour in the stillness.
That still peacefulness ended abruptly as the gunshots echoed off the hillsides up and down the river, followed by the frantic cries of the startled geese. I just assumed that the successful hunter was married to me, but in this case, thankfully he was not. Knowing the quiet would only be disturbed continually throughout the morning, I got up and started moving about.
I was still in the camper, when I heard this honking begin. Quickly, I realized, that this sound was different. It was not the normal flock’s sound, but rather a single, repeated honk, that went on for several minutes. At first, when I looked up the river, (I found myself having to investigate) I thought Steve was using his new caller, and thought, wow, he’s not very good at that.
Then I saw it. One lone goose out on the river, just paddling in circles as if lost. Calling out, waiting for an answer that just wasn’t going to come. Just as the gun shot echoed just a half hour or so before, so did this lonely voice, seeking, searching, seemingly lost. I grieved for this creature, knowing geese travel in families relying on one another in their journeys, then wondering how they survive when their mate is suddenly taken from their midst.
I couldn’t grab the camera in time to capture what I’d seen, as he/she had begun to move up river and out of view.
Like every sad story, we hope for a happy resolution. And this one is no exception. While this lonesome soul was searching, there was another pair on the river (closer to the island side, just out of view to the right), also swimming up river. I watched as they began to come across the river in the direction of the voice, which thankfully quieted soon after. Nature is such a wonder, when we take the time to observe and ponder…