Lessons In The Course of Life

I was walking into class tonight, and it just happened that my long walk coincided with a snow squall moving through the area in which the wind picked up and the snow fell pretty heavy. Walking through it, I happened to notice through the snow, and hundreds of feet up in the sky, a lone goose, struggling in the snow and wind, without the benefit of the other geese – who were nearly a football field’s distance away – providing any chance of protection or drafting. I mean, this guy was literally being tossed around up there in the wind like a rag doll, but just kept moving forward the best he could manage – and nearly in the complete opposite direction of the crowd of geese flying in a stable formation. At first, I thought to myself, “Poor Bastard is no where near where he is supposed to be, in the safety and efficient comfort of his crowd, but rather is struggling and heading in the wrong direction..” But as I continued to watch this all play out during my walk, a poignant lesson – admiration, almost – occurred at that moment. The goose, rather than quit trying to face the wall of wind and change course to join his group, just continued his struggle in his own set direction, and slowly but surely, it was the crowd of geese, flying in formation and no where near, that began to change their heading, incrementally shifting course until they too were flying into the wind. Due to their sheer numbers, they caught up with the lone goose pretty quickly, and off they flew, following the one who seemed initially to be flying into the abyss with nothing but his skewed convictions and experiences. The goose who, as it turned out, was exactly where he was supposed to be the whole time. I lost sight of them eventually, but it got me thinking of the inherent symbolism as I finally reached the sliding doors, looked back after entering at the tiny motors laboring to hold the desolate world at bay, and shaking the brutal cold from my bones thought – damn, maybe we all need to look up to the sky a little more often for inspiration.  It was a better lesson than anything I would end up learning in the next three hours at school that evening.

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