Monday evening about 8pm, while roasting squash and chicken on my grill, I was deep in thought. It was Labor Day, with all that means to me, and I was pondering the official end of the summer camping season. The sun had just gone down, and as it was turning dark I heard a very faint, but familiar, ancient sound. Here in the northeast, and especially in upstate New York, the Fall evenings are often filled with this haunting vocalization. It came echoing in from a distance, upon the evening breeze. The sound continued to grow louder and louder, until it was right overhead. It was the amazing, lonely, haunting call of a flock of Canadian Geese heading south.
I watched as they cleared my old ash trees and lifted gracefully over the chimney on my roof. In that moment, I was struck by both the eerie call and what that sound really means. It is a universal signal that snow and cold have come to the far northern regions of Canada. Such weather triggers something deeply rooted in the DNA and the core memory of geese. Their internal “knower” detects both the change in temperature, and the seasonal shift that invades their nesting grounds. When that happens, off they go! The first frost and few flakes of snow means; ” Take flight! It’s time to go south” and they do,…. by the millions.
Thus, this one small flock of about 25 birds swung low over my rooftop, cleared the trees and glided downwind for a landing in the open marsh that is a half mile from my house. At that moment, something within me “clicked” and a change happened. I suddenly realized that summer was gone, and Fall officially arrived in my part of the world. I don’t know why it hit me so hard, but the emotional impact felt like the kick of my old double barreled 16 gauge Lefever shotgun. As I stood there watching these majestic birds, and listening to their haunting, melancholy honking, something went straight into my heart and soul. It was one of those unforgettable moments when life just stops, and the truth of a change that has finally happened, actually becomes real.
The sight and sound of a single “V” of geese coasting in on the cool evening breeze did something that is hard to explain. It stirred amazing memories and emotions that gripped my heart. I was sent back in time, and I felt the great impact of other years, and other Falls. I was transported and became a teenager, hunting with my father, near Bear Pond in Upper Saint Regis, NY. I could smell the cold Canadian pine-scented wind, feel the pale October sun and the iron taste of the water from Meacham Lake. I was alone again as a 21 year old, closing up the family boat business on that state campground. I was standing at the top of my driveway in Epharatah, NY saying a weeping “good-by” to my two youngest sons as they left for basic training in the Air Force. I could feel the ache in my heart and gut once again, as life chapters closed forever and new unknown chapters, were yet to be written.
Those memories and feelings were both wonderful and unsettling at the same time. It was a powerful experience on multiple levels. My point being, that this is the way life is. Everything changes and leaves it’s mark on you, and in you. Places you’ve lived, people you’ve known, things you’ve done and changes in family life are all part of what makes you, you. The amazing person you are today would not be possible without all the stuff of heart-tugging memories, carving up your life. So, instead of struggling, and “what if-ing”, and wondering about the things that were not, but could have been, why not celebrate it all? Why not allow God to use all of it, and the emotions they provoke, for something of a greater good?
The Bible says “God causes all things to work together for the good…” Like it or not,
“all things” means exactly that,…… “all things”. Your most painful memory can become your greatest strength to help others. Current situations that trigger strong emotional experiences from the past, because you were taken advantage of, or you missed an opportunity, can be transformed into something that sets you up for insights and new adventures. The possibilities are endless, once you learn to look up and enjoy the geese that are flying south in your life. Own and embrace the experience, and it will hug you back!
Are you in a time of seasonal shift? Has the rapid change that is happening all around you caught you by surprise? Are you wondering how life has moved by so quickly, and the “what-ifs” of your past are stronger than your passion for what’s to come? Let me encourage you to start listening for the distant echo of an ancient call that is already in the wind. It’s not a natural call, but one that is supernatural. It is not carried by the shifting winds of this earth, but it is borne up into the heavenlies as a pure flow of life from the Spirit of God. Once you hear that call, once your heart feels the tug toward heaven and embraces it’s purposes, life will find it’s focus and so will you.
Stop, look up and listen my friends! Hear the distant sound of Canadian Geese echoing in the cool Fall breeze. A shifting change is in the wind, and you can shift with it! Let your heart connect to God’s heart, and He will do the rest. If you want to know how to make that transition, just ask God. He is there, He loves you and He will provide certain guidance in your uncertain times. When everything around is shifting, and seems to be flying south, He is a rock, a sure foundation that never will be shaken. If you want to know more about living life in the presence of God, send an email to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org . I will be happy to show you how to hear the call of the Spirit, and your life will be change forever. Have a great day!