The snow is melting in the back yard, well, down the street as well, but it is the back yard that is most important to me. So, I go for a wander, surveying the damage caused by winter storms to be sure, but also, truth be known, to look for little signs of plants breaking through the slowly thawing ground. And I find them: the odd tulip leaf, the snow drops and early daffodils, the herbs that have stayed green throughout the winter. All of them promising great things to come.
As I wander looking for other promising signs, I hear the geese. I am surprised. It seems early but I look up and there they are: a small flock to be sure but flying in the universally recognisable formation, heading north. They come every spring, and every spring I am surprised by these early flyers “almost like an advanced scouting party, they pass overhead, moving directly north. And I know that in another few weeks the skies will be full of them as the mass migration unfolds once again.
It reminds me of something. I have some days scheduled to work up north over the next few months and I know there will come a time when everything else gets put “on hold” as families head to the bush for the annual goose break. School closes, villages appear near empty, little happens. Don’t plan a family meeting, or a visit to the hospital, or schedule a meeting. The rhythm of nature has precedence.
This rhythm, hundreds and hundreds of years old dominates the world at this time. It is the most wonderful of things to see families responding to the rhythm of nature in this way. To see businesses, social services, schools and, yes, even medical services responding to this rhythm.
And, like me, it probably reminds you of other cycles, other rhythms in the lives of the young people and families with whom we work. The coming together and drifting apart, the developmental mysteries of growth through stages, the energy rising and falling, the days opening and closing as the world, and we with it, move through the rhythms of being human on this planet.
Some days the passing of the geese just opens up new doors. Some days it is the ripening of the peas. Some days it is the birth of small animals. Some days it is time to harvest the crops. The snows come and they go way. The geese fly by. And if we are fortunate, our rhythms match the rhythms of nature.